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Ex  Libris 
{   C.  K.  OGDEN 


LETTERS   OF  EDWARD   LEAR 


STUDIES  OF  THE  EIGHTEENTH  CENTURY 
IN  ITALY.  By  VERNON  LEE.  New  Edition,  with  a  New 
Preface,  a  Photogravure  Frontispiece,  and  40  other  Illus- 
trations selected  by  Dr.  Guido  Biagi,  of  the  Laurentian 
Library,  Florence.  Super  Royal  8vo,  Half-bound,  21s.  net. 

BEFORE  AND  AFTER  WATERLOO.  By  EDWARD 
STANLEY,  sometime  Bishop  of  Norwich.  Edited  by  J.  H. 
ADEANE  and  MAUD  GRENFELL.  With  5  Photogravures  and 
5  Coloured  Plates,  and  27  other  Illustrations.  Medium  8vo, 
cloth,  14s.  net. 

OLD  ENGLISH  SPORTS.  By  F.  W.  HACKWOOD. 
With  6  Coloured  Plates,  and  32  other  full-page  Illustrations. 
Demy  8vo,  cloth,  10s.  6d.  net. 

LONDON:  T.  FISHER  UNWIN. 


LETTERS 

OF 

EDWARD    LEAR 

AUTHOR    OF    "THE     BOOK    OF    NONSENSE" 

TO 

CHICHESTER    FORTESCUE 
LORD    CARLINGFORD 

AND 

FRANCES   COUNTESS   WALDEGRAVE 


EDITED  BY 

LADY   STRACHEY 

OF 
SUTTON   COURT 


ILLUSTRATED 


LONDON  :    T.    FISHER    UNWIN 

ADELPHI    TERRACE 

1909 


First  Edition,  November,  1907 
Second  Edition,  December,  1907 
Third  Edition,  September,  1908 
Fourth  Edition,  January,  igog 


(All  rights  reserved.) 


Stack 
Annex 

IOC 

343, 


<\o<\ 


TO   E.   L.,  ON   HIS  TRAVELS  IN  GREECE. 

ILLYRIAN  woodlands,  echoing  falls 
Of  water,  sheets  of  summer  glass, 
The  long  divine  Peneian  pass, 
The  vast  Akrokeraunian  walls, 

Tomohrit,  Athos,  all  things  fair, 
With  such  a  pencil,  such  a  pen, 
You  shadow  forth  to  distant  men, 
I  read  and  felt  that  I  was  there : 

And  trust  me  while  I  turn'd  the  page, 
And  track'd  you  still  on  classic  ground, 
I  grew  in  gladness  till  I  found 
My  spirits  in  the  golden  age. 

For  me  the  torrent  ever  pour'd 
And  glisten'd — here  and  there  alone 
The  broad-limb'd  gods  at  random  thrown 
By  fountain-urns  ; — and  Naiads  oar'd 

A  glimmering  shoulder  under  gloom 
Of  cavern  pillars  ;  on  the  swell 
The  silver  lily  heaved  and  fell ; 
And  many  a  slope  was  rich  in  bloom 

From  him  that  on  the  mountain  lea 
By  dancing  rivulets  fed  his  flocks, 
To  him  who  sat  upon  the  rocks, 
And  fluted  to  the  morning  sea. 

TENNYSON. 


CONTENTS 


PAGE 

INTRODUCTION  ,  .  xiii 


CHAPTER    I 
ROME,   GREECE,    AND   ENGLAND   . 


CHAPTER  II 
CORFU   AND   ENGLAND  .  .  •  32 

CHAPTER   III 
CORFU     .  .  .  .  .  ,  •  .6l 

CHAPTER   IV 
PALESTINE,   CORFU,   AND   ENGLAND  .  ...  94 

CHAPTER  V 
ROME  REVISITED  .  ,  .  .  .  .121 

CHAPTER  VI 

ROME   AND   A   WINTER    IN   ENGLAND  .  .  .  157 

vii 


Letters    of  Edward    Lear 

CHAPTER    VII 

PAGE 

ITALY   AND   SWITZERLAND  .  .  .  .185 

CHAPTER    VIII 
CORFU  •»••••  206 

CHAPTER   IX 
MALTA   AND   ENGLAND    ......   243 

CHAPTER  X 
CORFU  ......  256 

CHAPTER  XI 
ENGLAND  ....«•.    281 

CHAPTER  XII 
LAST  VISIT  TO  CORFU  .  .  •  •  .297 

APPENDIX- 
PICTURES   PAINTED,    1840-1877       •  .  ,  .   311 
INCOMPLETE   LIST   OF   THE.   WORKS   ILLUSTRATED    BY   LEAR    319 


via 


LIST    OF    ILLUSTRATIONS 


LIST  OF   PLATES 

EDWARD  LEAR  AND  CHICHESTER  FORTESCUE  (Photogravure) 

Frontispiece 

From  a  Daguerreotype  taken  at  Red  House,  Ardee,  September,  7857. 

PENTEDATILO    .  •  .  .  .  .       Facing  page  i 

From  Lear's  "Journal  of  a  Landscape  Painter  in  Calabria" 
(R.  Bentley,  1852). 

THE  MOUNTAINS  OF  THERMOPYLAE  (Coloured  Re- 
production) ......  „  12 

From  a  painting  by  Edward  Lear  in  the  possession  of  Lady 
Slrachey. 

SULI  (Coloured  Reproduction)  ...  u  20 

From  Lear's  "Journal  of  a  Landscape  Painter  in  Albania" 
(R.  Bentley,  1851). 

GlOIOSA  ......  ,,28 

From  Lear's  "Journal  of  a  Landscape  Paintet  in  Calabria" 
(R.  Bentley,  1852). 

FRANCES  COUNTESS  WALDEGRAVE,  /ET.  29  .  „          36 

From  a  coloured  lithograph  of  a  crayon  drawing  by  J.  K.  Swinton. 

TEMPE  (Coloured  Reproduction)         ...  ,,40 

From  Lear's  "  Journal  o    a  Landscape  Painter  in  Albania " 
(R.  Bentley,  1851). 

SAN  VlTTORINO  •  .  .  .  .  „  $0 

E.  Lear  del.  et  Mh. 

MRS.  RUXTON  ...••»  n  54 

From  a  photograph  of  a  picture. 

ix 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 


EDWARD  LEAR  .  .  .  .       Facing  page  72 

From  a  photograph  taken  about  1853  or  1854. 

TAGGIA   .          .          ,          ...          .  „         114 

"  Ice  far  up  on  a  mountain  head." 

From  "Poems  by  Alfred  Lord  Tennyson,  illustrated  by  Edward 
Lear"  (Boussod,  Valedon  &  Co.,  1889).  By  kind  permission  of 
Lord  Tennyson. 

NlNFA      ....  .  .  ,,122 

Woodcut  from  "Illustrated  Excursions  in  Italy,"  by  Edward 
Lear  (Thomas  McLean,  1846). 

LADY  WALDEGRAVE     ...  .  ,,132 

From  a  photograph  taken  in  1859.  One  among  a  number  taken 
in  contemplation  of  a  statuette  executed  later  by  Noble.  This  one 
a  special  pose  from  one  of  tlte  plays  acted  at  Nuneham. 

CASTEL  FUSANO          .          .          .          .          .  ,162 

From  "Illustrated  Excursions  in  Italy,"  by  Edward  Lear 
(Thomas  McLean,  1846) 

THE  CAT  AND  THE  HEN       ....  ,,182 

A  sketch  by  Lear. 

THE  ROSE-COLOURED  SHIRT  ...  „         199 

MAR  SABBAS,  SYRIA    .....  „         230 

"  Girt  round  with  blackness." — The  Palace  of  Art. 

From  "Poems  by  Alfred  Lord  Tennyson,  illustrated  by  Edward 
Lear"  (Boussod,  Valedon  &  Co.,  1889).  By  kind  permission  of 
Lord  Tennyson. 

Gozo,  MALTA  (?).....  „         243 

From  an  unnamed  photograph  of  a  picture  by  Edward  Lear. 

CHICHESTER  FORTESCUE        ....  „         290 

From  a  photograph  taken  June,  1863. 

FRANCES  COUNTESS  WALDEGRAVE   ...  „         290 

From  a  photograph  taken  June,  1863. 

PHILIATES,  ALBANIA    .....  „         300 

From  a  pen  and  ink  sketch  in  a  Utter. 

X 


List  of  Illustrations 

LIST   OF  THE   MORE   IMPORTANT   SKETCHES 
REPRODUCED    IN   THE   TEXT 

PAGE 

LETTER  WITH  SKETCHES  OF  THE  ACADEMY  SCHOOLS     .  23-25 

A  LESSON  IN  PISTOL-SHOOTING        .          .          .  .  .92 

PALESTINE  SKETCHES  .....  98-101,  107,  108 

ASSYGRAMS        •          .          .          .          •          •  .  .141 

THE  BOWL  OF  PEACE            ,       ,  ,          ..         .  .  .143 

THE  RESULT  OF  WANT  OF  EXERCISE         .          »  .  .  170 

LEAR  PAINTING  AT  NUNEHAM         .       _.  .          ,  4  .173 

"THERE  WAS  A  YOUNG  PERSON  OF  CHERTSEY"  .          .          .179 
"THERE  WAS  A  YOUNG  LADY  OF  CLARE"  .       '  i          .  220 

LEAR'S  NEW  GALLERY  ......  229 

LEAR'S  HAIR  VIOLENTLY  GROWING  .          .          .          .246 

DEATH  IN  THE  DESERT         .          .          .          .          .          .  254 

"THERE  WAS  A  YOUNG  GIRL  OF  MAJORCA"  .  .  .  264 
A  CORFU  DINNER-PARTY  .  ,  ,  ,  .  269 

LEAR'S  PICTURE  GALLERY  AT  CORFU  .  •  •  .274 
"A  MOTH  HAS  CROSSED  MY  PAPER"  .  •  ,  .283 
LEAR  AND  THE  MICE  .  •  •  •  .  288 

LEAR  LEAVES  A  CARD  •••••.  294 

"THERE  WAS  AN  OLD  MAN  WHO  SAID,  '  HOW'"  .         .29$ 

xi 


To  Lord  Tennyson  my  special  thanks  are  due  for  his  kind 
permission  in  allowing  to  be  included  in  this  book  photographs 
of  two  of  the  pictures  from  "Poems  by  Alfred  Lord  Tennyson 
illustrated  by  Edward  Lear."  This  work  was  brought  out  in 
i88g,  after  Lear's  death,  by  Boussod,  Valedon  &•*  Co.  The  edition 
was  limited  to  a  hundred  copies,  and  each  copy  was  signed  by 
the  poet.  For  the  sake  of  his  old  friend  and  to  partly  fulfil  one 
of  the  most  cherished  objects  of  Lear's  later  life,  which,  alas  !  he 
never  was  able  himself  to  carry  out,  this  book  was  published, 
containing  twenty-two  out  of  the  many  pictures  drawn  and 
specially  put  aside  for  this  purpose  by  Lear.  J  am  also 
fortunate  in  being  able  to  include  such  a  poem  as  "  To  E.  Z,., 
on  his  Travels  in  Greece?  written  by  the  poet  after  Lear's 
earlier  visit  to  that  country.  Most  readers  know  the  poem,  but 
many  do  not  know  to  whom  it  was  addressed.  To  these  will 
come  the  surprise  and  to  all  the  pleasure,  of  finding  these  verses 
used  as  it  were  in  a  dedicatory  sense,  both  to  the  words  of  the 
man  they  praise  and  to  the  account  he  gives  of  a  journey  over 
the  same  ground  they  commemorate. 

C.  & 


INTRODUCTION 


"True  humour  is  sensibility  in  the  most  catholic  and 
deepest  sense ;  but  it  is  the  sport  of  sensibility ;  wholesome 
and  perfect  therefore ;  as  it  were,  the  playful,  teasing  fond- 
ness of  a  mother  to  her  child." — CARLYLE. 


IT  is  said  that  humour  is  allied  to  sadness, 
and  that  it  is  this  quality  which  defines 
it  from  its  kindred  talent,  wit.  The  writer 
of  the  following  letters  was  a  master  of  the 
former  art,  as  well  as  a  painter  of  beautiful 
and  original  pictures. 

The  English  and  American  public  of  the 
present  day,  only  know  Edward  Lear  through 
his  "  Books  of  Nonsense."  To  only  a  cultivated 
few  and  the  survivors  of  a  past  generation 
who  possess  many  of  his  works,  are  his 
pictures  existent.  But  practically  to  none  is 
known  the  depth  of  character  and  person- 
ality of  the  man  who  wrote  these  rhymes 
and  painted  these  pictures.  How  few  have 
realised  the  vein  of  sadness  and  other 

xiii 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

qualities,  which  went  to  make  Lear's  humour 
of  the  highest  order  and  his  pictures  of 
special  interest.  Therefore  it  has  seemed 
to  me  that  these  letters  to  one  of  his 
most  intimate  and  life-long  friends,  would  be 
acceptable  to  the  many  whose  childhood  was 
associated  and  made  glad  by  his  inimitable 
fun  and  frolic,  and  that  these  should  be 
given  some  idea  of  his  real  life-work — his 
paintings,  to  which  he  dedicated  every  energy 
of  his  being.  Besides,  the  total  want  of 
knowledge  by  them  of  the  man  himself,  has 
led  I  believe  to  a  growing  and  rising 
interest  in  his  doings  and  sayings,  his  aims 
and  ambitions,  as  distinct  from  the  mere 
writer  of  the  immortal  nonsense  verses. 
Those  who  in  their  childhood  loved  him 
for  the  joyousness  he  gave  them,  now  in 
their  more  mature  days  would  be  interested 
to  know  what  kind  of  man  was  the  writer 
of  "The  Yonghy-Bonghy-B6,"  "The  Owl 
and  the  Pussy  Cat,"  and  the  verses  and 
rhymes  he  brought  to  such  perfection. 
These  letters  to  my  uncle  and  aunt,  Lord 
Carlingford  and  his  wife  Frances  Countess 
Waldegrave,  show  the  man  in  every  possible 
vein  of  humour,  both  grave  and  gay,  and 
also  show  forth  a  most  lovable  personality. 

xiv 


Introduction 

I,  who  knew  him  from  my  earliest  years, 
remember  how  he  attracted  me  at  all  periods 
of  my  life.  From  the  time  when  he  drew  for 
me  an  alphabet  when  I  scarce  can  remember 
his  so  doing,  when  he  sang  with  little  voice 
but  with  intense  feeling  and  individuality,  songs 
by  Tennyson  his  friend,  which  he  had  himself 
put  to  charming  music ;  to  the  time  when  he 
sent  me  an  exquisite  framed  water-colour 
drawing — a  delicious  harmony  in  blue  of 
the  "  Vale  of  Tempe " — as  a  wedding  gift. 
And  later  still  when  we  spent  a  few  weeks 
near  him  in  his  San  Remo  villa  home  in 
1880,  though  much  aged  and  broken  by 
worries  and  health,  still  the  same  sad  whim- 
sical personality  and  undefinable  charm  of  the 
man  attracted  as  ever,  and  one  day  to  us  was 
literally  shown  forth,  in  his  singing  of  an 
air  to  which  he  had  set  the  "  Owl  and  the 
Pussy  Cat."  But  of  this  rendering,  alas ! 
there  is  no  record,  as  not  knowing  music 
though  a  musician  by  ear,  he  had  been 
unable  to  transcribe  it  to  paper,  and  grudged 
the  ^5  he  said  it  would  cost  to  employ 
another  to  do  so.  And  again  the  last  time 
I  saw  him,  as  we  passed  the  San  Remo  rail- 
way station  on  our  way  north  from  Genoa 
to  England.  It  was  a  Sunday,  and  he 

XV 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

happened  to  be  walking  dreamily  away  from 
the  station  as  our  train  slowed  into  it,  but 
out  of  earshot  of  our  calls.  The  sad,  bent, 
loosely-clad  figure  with  hands  clasped  behind 
him,  we  did  not  know  was  walking  away 
from  us  then  and  for  ever,  for  we  never  saw 
him  again. 

The  following  letters  date  only  from  1847, 
therefore  a  few  pages  of  what  is  known  of 
Lear's  history  and  kindred  before  this  period, 
will  not  come  amiss  in  this  introduction. 
There  is  a  singular  dearth  of  information 
on  these  points,  considering  the  size  of  the 
family  to  ,  which  Lear  belonged.  Of  its 
representatives  now  I  have  only  heard  of  one 
member  in  England,  and  that  one  was,  I 
believe,  a  colonial  born,  and  a  sister's 
great-grandson. 

Edward  Lear,  the  youngest  of  twenty-one 
children,  belonged  to  a  Danish  family  natural- 
ized a  generation  or  so  back  in  England,  and 
was  born  at  Highgate  on  May  12,  1812. 

His  family  had  some  connection,  I  believe, 
with  Liverpool,  and  this  fact  seems  to  be 
borne  out  by  Mr.  Holman  Hunt  having,  in 
consequence,  presented  a  portrait  drawing  of 
Lear  by  himself  to  that  city  some  few  years 
ago.  Lear's  mother  must  have  died  very 


XVI 


Introduction 

early  in  his  life,  for  he  always  spoke  and 
in  his  letters  writes,  of  his  eldest  sister  Ann 
as  having  brought  him  up  and  of  being  as  a 
mother  to  him.  She  must  have  been  a  woman 
of  a  good  deal  of  force  of  character ;  for 
when  domestic  adversity  and  money  difficulties 
came  upon  the  family,  it  was  through  her 
small  income  and  by  her  care,  that  Lear  was 
educated  and  brought  up. 

He,  at  the  age  of  fifteen,  began  to  earn  a 
living  by  painting.  As  a  dreamy  child,  as  he 
must  have  been,  he  pored  over  books  of  natural 
history  and  dabbled  with  paints.  Thus  he  was 
led  to  "drawing  small  coloured  pictures  of 
birds,  and  of  colouring  prints  and  screens  and 
fans  for  general  use."  As  time  went  on  he 
advanced  in  his  art,  and  his  remuneration  and 
improvement  increased  in  due  proportion. 
This  again  led  to  his  being  employed  at 
nineteen,  through  the  good  offices  of  a  Mrs. 
Wentworth,  at  the  Zoological  Gardens  as  a 
draughtsman.  The  following  year,  1832,  he 
published  his  "  Family  of  the  Psittacidae," 
a  most  interesting  work,  "one  of  the  earliest 
collections  of  coloured  ornithological  drawings 
on  a  large  scale  made  in  England,"  "as  far 
as  I  know,"  as  he  himself  adds,  with  his 
usual  devotion  to  accuracy  and  truth. 

xvii  A  * 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

These  carefully  and  exquisitely  drawn 
pictures  of  parrots  with  their  brilliant  colour- 
ings, naturally  arrested  the  attention  of  such 
men  as  Professors  Bell  and  Swainston,  Sir 
William  Jardine,  Mr.  Gould  and  Mr.  Gray 
of  the  British  Museum,  who  recognised  the 
merit  of  his  work  and  his  fidelity  to  detail. 
He  further  illustrated  G.  A.  Gould's  book 
on  "  Indian  Pheasants "  about  this  time,  and 
did  other  work  for  the  same  author  and 
others  of  those  just  mentioned.  At  this 
period  came  the  great  opportunity  of  his  life, 
and  to  a  small  circumstance  was  he  indebted 
for  the  lifelong  friendship  and  help,  of  the 
first  and  greatest  of  the  many  important 
patrons  for  whom  he  worked  during  his  life. 
At  this  time  Lord  Derby,  who  had  brought 
together  an  interesting  collection  of  rare 
animals  and  birds  at  Knowsley,  was  con- 
templating the  illustrating  and  printing  of  a 
magnificent  work,  which  he  eventually  privately 
printed  in  1856,  and  which  has  now  become 
the  rare  and  valuable  volume  known  as  the 
"  Knowsley  Menagerie."  He,  one  day,  I 
believe,  went  to  the  Zoological  Gardens, 
where  he  was  so  much  struck  by  the  work 
of  a  young  man  whom  he  observed  drawing 

there,    that    he    immediately    made    inquiries 

xviii 


Introduction 

about  him,  and  engaged  him  on  the  spot  to 
execute  the  bird  portion  of  the  illustrations 
for  his  book.  This  was  Lear.  From  this 
happy  moment,  for  four  years  Lear  con- 
tinued not  only  to  do  work  for  his  patron, 
but,  as  he  observes  in  a  small  memorandum 
to  Fortescue,  in  a  letter  many  years  later 
than  those  published  in  the  present  volume, 
during  those  years  and  many  after,  he  met 
and  mixed  with  half  the  fine  people  of 
the  day. 

Here  I  transcribe  the  fragment  intact : — 

C.s.  writing  of  Lord  Carlisle's  journal  reminds  me 
of  a  curious  discovery  I  have  made  lately  in  looking 
over  old  things  of  my  dear  sister  Ann's.  I  remember 
telling  C  F.  that  for  12  or  13  years  when  at 
Knowsley,  I  kept  a  journal  about  everything  and 
everybody,  but  one  day  in  1840,  I  burnt  the  whole. 
It  has  all  turned  up  again,  for  I  copied  out  all,  or 
nearly  all,  in  letters  to  my  sister,  and  she  preserved  all 
those,  and  here  they  are ! 

During  those  years  I  saw  half  the  fine  people  of 
the  day,  and  my  notes  about  some  are  queer  enough. 
One  for  instance  about  Lord  W.  "The  Earl  of  W.1 
has  been  here  for  some  days :  he  is  Lord  W.'s  2d 
son,  and  married  Lady  Mary  S.  He  is  extremely 

*  The  second  Earl  of  Wilton,  second  son  of  the  first  Marquess 
of  Westminster 

xix 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

picturesque  if  not  handsome,  and  dresses  in  crimson 
and  a  black  velvet  waistcoat  when  he  looks  like  a 

portrait  of  Vandyke.     Miss says  and  so  does  Mrs. 

that  he  is  a  very  bad  man,  tho  he  looks  so  nicely. 

But  what  I  like  about  him,  is  that  he  always  asks  me 
to  drink  a  glass  of  champagne  with  him  at  dinner. 
I  wonder  why  he  does.  But  I  don't  much  care  as  I 
like  the  champagne."  And  some  days  later  I  wrote, 
"  I  have  asked  why  on  Earth  she  thinks  the  Earl  of 
W.  always  asks  me  to  drink  champagne,  and  she 
began  to  laugh,  and  said,  because  he  knows  you  are  a 
clever  artist  and  he  sees  you  always  look  at  him  and 
admire  him  :  and  he  is  a  very  vain  man  and  this 
pleases  him,  and  so  he  asks  you  to  take  wine  as  a 


reward."     Ha!    Ha!    Ha! 


Note  in  1871. 
Still  in  our  ashes 
etc.  etc. 


In  1846  Lear  gave  drawing  lessons  to  the 
late  Queen  Victoria.  Two  stories  he  himself 
told  of  that  time  will  be  of  interest.  Lear 
had  a  habit  of  standing  on  the  hearthrug. 
When  at  Windsor  he  was  in  the  room  with 
the  Queen,  and  as  was  his  wont,  he  had 
somehow  managed  to  migrate  to  his  favourite 
place.  He  observed  that  whenever  he  took  up 
this  position,  the  Lord-in- Waiting  or  Private 
Secretary  who  was  in  attendance  kept  luring 
him  away,  either  under  pretext  of  looking  at  a 

XX 


Introduction 

picture  or  some  object  of  interest.  After  each 
interlude  he  made  again  for  the  hearthrug, 
and  the  same  thing  was  repeated.  It  was 
only  afterwards  that  he  discovered  that  to 
stand  where  he  had  done  was  not  etiquette. 

On  another  occasion  the  Queen,  with  great 
kindness,  was  showing  him  some  of  the  price- 
less treasures  in  cabinets  either  at  Windsor 
Castle  or  Buckingham  Palace  I  do  not  know 
which,  and  explaining  their  history  to  him. 
Mr.  Lear,  entirely  carried  away  by  the  wonder- 
ful beauty  and  interest  of  what  he  saw,  became 
totally  oblivious  of  all  other  facts,  and  in  the 
excitement  and  forgetfulness  of  the  moment 
exclaimed,  "  Oh !  how  did  you  get  all  these 
beautiful  things?"  Her  Majesty's  answer, 
as  Mr.  Lear  said,  was  an  excellent  one,  so 
kind,  yet  so  terse  and  full  of  the  dignity 
of  a  Queen :  "  I  inherited  them,  Mr.  Lear." 

In  a  delightful  article  by  Mr.  Wilfrid 
Ward  several  years  ago  in  the  New  Review 
called  "Talks  with  Tennyson,"  I  have  ven- 
tured to  recall  a  story  given  apropos  of 
Edward  Lear : — 

"  On  one  occasion  Tennyson's  friend,  Edward 
Lear,  was  staying  in  a  Sicillian  town,  painting.  He 
left  the  town  for  some  weeks  and  locked  up  his 

xxi 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

pictures  and  other  things  in  a  room,  leaving  the  key 
with  the  hotel  keeper.  A  revolution  had  just  broken 
out  when  he  returned,  and  he  found  the  waiters  full  of 
Chianti  and  of  patriotic  fervour.  He  ventured  to  ask 
one  of  them  for  the  chiave  of  his  camera  that  he 
might  find  his  roba.  The  waiter  refused  entirely 
to  be  led  down  from  his  dreams  of  a  golden  age  and 
of  the  reign  of  freedom  to  such  details  of  daily  life. 
"O  che  chiave  /"  he  exclaimed.  "  O  che  roba!  O  che 
camera  I  Non  ce  piu  chiave  I  Non  ce  piu  roba ! 
Non  ce  piu  camera /  Non  c'e  piu  niente.  Tutto  Z 
amore  e  liberta.  O  che  bella  rivoluzione  !  "  J  Constant 
little  local  revolutions  took  place  at  this  time  in  Italy, 
and  the  inhabitants  drank  an  extremely  large  quantity 
of  Chianti  and  talked  enthusiastically  of  liberta  and  la 
fiatria  for  a  couple  of  days  ;  and  then  things  settled 
down  into  their  former  groove." 

The  acquaintanceship  of  Lear  and  Fortescue 
began  in  1845,  when  Lear  was  thirty-three  and 
Fortescue  twenty-two.  After  leaving  Oxford, 
the  latter  took  an  extended  tour  in  Europe 
and  Greece,  before  starting  on  a  parliamentary 
career.  Fortescue,  with  his  friend  Simeon,  left 
England  on  February  i,  1845,  for  Italy,  where 
they  remained  over  six  months.  In  the  middle 

1  "  Oh  !  what  key  ?  Oh  !  what  property  ?  Oh  !  what  room  ? 
There  is  no  more  a  key  !  There  is  no  more  property  !  There 
is  no  more  a  room  !  There  is  no  more  anything  1  All  is  love 
and  liberty.  Oh  what  a  beautiful  revolution  1 " 

xxii 


Introduction 

of  March  they  reached  Rome,  where  they 
stayed  for  over  eleven  weeks.  In  Fortescue's 
diary,  very  fully  kept  during  this  journey,  we 
find  the  entries  of  his  first  meeting  Lear,  and 
of  how  rapidly  the  friendship  which  lasted 
till  Lear's  death,  ripened  between  the  two. 
A  few  extracts  from  my  uncle's  diary  may 
be  interesting  to  those  reading  the  following 
letters : 

Thurs.,  April  15,  1845. — Went  with  Conybeare 
to  Lear's,  where  we  stayed  some  time  looking  over 
drawings.  I  like  what  I  have  seen  of  him  very 
much. 

Sat.  26tk. — Saw  Lear. 

Sun.  27th. — After  church  took  a  walk  with  Lear 
until  nearly  dinner-time. 

Tkurs.,  May  ist. — Simeon  went  with  Scotts  and 
General  Ramsay  to  Tivoli.  ...  I  declined.  Walked 
with  Lear  to  the  Ponte  Salaro  sketching.  ...  I  like 
very  much  what  I  have  seen  of  Lear  ;  he  is  a  good, 
clever,  agreeable  man — very  friendly  and  getonable 
with.  .  .  .  Spent  the  evening  in  Lear's  rooms  looking 
over  drawings,  &c. 

Friday,  May  2nd. — Simeon  and  I  started  for  Veii 
in  a  fiacre  and  overtook  Lear.  We  drove  on  to  near 
Isola  Farnese,  and  then  got  out  and  sketched.  .  .  . 
Then  walked  down  the  valley  to  the  S.  of  Isola  to  the 
Arco  di  Pino.  .  .  .  The  day  which  had  been  lovely 
had  gradually  clouded  over,  and  we  had  not  left  the 

xxiii 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Arco  di  Pino  many  minutes,  before  we  were  caught 
in  a  thunderstorm  which  lasted  an  hour  or  more. 
Lear  and  I  ran  to  the  Osteria  at  I  sola.  Simeon 
stayed  behind  under  a  rock.  After  eating  our  dinner 
and  waiting  some  time  we  grew  uneasy  about 
Simeon,  and  set  out  in  the  rain  to  look  for  him.  We 
found  the  little  "  Fosso"  which  we  had  stepped  across 
an  hour  before  so  swollen,  that  we  did  not  like  to 
cross  it,  and  Simeon,  who  had  been  delayed  by  the 
same  cause,  had  to  wade.  .  .  . 

Sun. — Went  to  Lear's  in  the  evening.  .  .  . 

Thursday. — Started  at  5  o'clock  with  Lear,  Simeon, 
and  a  Mr.  Chester  to  Tivoli  per  carriage.  After 
breakfast  started  thence  for  Palestrina  on  foot, 
Simeon  riding. 

Explaining  the  places  and  views  they  passed, 
including  "  a  villa  built  by  some  '  lotus  eating ' 
Cardinal  who  loved  retirement,  and  dying 
under  a  hill  on  whose  top  stood  a  temple  of 
the  B5na  Dea,"  they  halted  for  Lear  to  see 
some  fine  aqueducts,  which  he  admired. 

Lear  wanted  to  sketch  them,  and  very  grand  they 
are — most  striking  in  themselves  and  in  the  solitude 
of  the  glens  which  they  cross.  .  .  . 

Still  drawing  and  walking,  they  came  to 
and  were  "  entertained  at  his  house,  by  a 

xxiv 


Introduction 

friend   of  Lear's   at   Gallicano,"  and  returned 
to  Rome  after  a  two  days'  expedition,  too  late 
to  see  the  "  Vatican  by  torchlight  with  '  Two- 
penny's' party." 
Fortescue  adds : 

These  were  two  very  enjoyable  days.  Lear  a 
delightful  companion,  full  of  nonsense,  puns,  riddles, 
everything  in  the  shape  of  fun,  and  brimming  with 
intense  appreciation  of  nature  as  well  as  history.  I 
don't  know  when  I  have  met  any  one  to  whom  I  took 
so  great  a  liking. 

Sat. — Lear,  Simeon,  and  myself  drove  to  Veii. 
Sketched  —  walked  .  .  .  then  Lear  and  I  walked 
home  some  twelve  miles.  This  was  a  delightful 
day. 

Sunday. — Called  with  Lear  to  ask  Bentinck  to  join 
our  party  to  Soracte  to-morrow.  Lear  found  he  could 
not  go  to-morrow,  so  that  project  was  knocked  on  the 
head.  I  was  disappointed  and  strolled  alone  ...  in 
rather  a  disgusted  and  gloomy  state  of  mind.  .  .  . 
Went  to  Lear's  in  the  evening. 

Tkurs. — Lear  dined  with  us  and  gave  us  a  drawing 
lesson. 

Friday. — Felt  done,  relaxed — in  abeyance,  as  Lear 
says.  .  .  .  Dined  with  Lear.  ...  I  shall  be  very 
sorry  to  part  with  Lear. 

Sunday.  —  Lear  breakfasted  with  us.  ...  Lear 
came  to  say  goodbye  just  before  our  dinner  —  he 
has  gone  by  diligence  to  Civita  Vecchia.  I  have 

XXV 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

enjoyed  his  society  immensely,  and  am  very  sorry 
he  is  gone.  We  seemed  to  suit  each  other  capitally, 
and  became  friends  in  no  time.  Among  other 
qualifications,  he  is  one  of  those  men  of  real  feeling 
it  is  so  delightful  to  meet  in  this  cold-hearted  world. 
Simeon  and  myself  both  miss  him  much." 


In  1844-45  he  seems  to  have  been  much 
in  England,  and  that  probably  is  the  reason 
why,  no  letters  appear  to  exist  during  those 
years  from  him  to  Fortescue.  With  a  friend- 
ship such  as  theirs  had  become  they  probably 
saw  one  another  often,  but  still  if  Fortescue 
went  to  Greece  in  1846-47,  there  must  have 
been  some  communication  between  them, 
which  has,  unfortunately,  doubtless  been  lost. 

By  the  courtesy  of  Messrs.  Warne  &  Co. 
permission  has  been  given,  for  the  inclusion 
in  this  introduction  of  a  most  interesting  and 
condensed  letter  by  Lear,  of  facts  of  his  own 
life  up  to  1862,  printed  "by  way  of  preface" 
to  one  of  their  admirable  series  of  his 
"  Nonsense  Books."  Through  the  numerous 
editions  which  have  been  published  by  them, 
many  of  the  present  generation  have  had  the 
felicity  of  enjoying  as  their  parents  did  before 
them  these  books,  by  the  man  of  whom  Ruskin 
said  in  his  list  of  the  best  hundred  authors,  "  I 

xxvi 


Introduction 

really  don't  know  of  any  author  to  whom  I  am 
half  so  grateful  for  my  idle  self  as  Edward 
Lear.  I  shall  put  him  first  of  my  hundred 
authors." 

To  all  those  who  are  not  acquainted  with 
this  series,  and  to  the  mothers  of  the  young 
children  of  to-day,  I  recommend  these  books 
for  the  cultivation  in  their  children  of  blameless 
humour.  Thus  ever,  a  larger  number  of  people 
may  come  to  know  the  lovable  man  and  fine 
artist,  whose  character  is  revealed  in  these 
letters. 

MY  DEAR  F. — I  want  to  send  you,  before  leaving 
England,  a  note  or  two  as  to  the  various  publications 
I  have  uttered, — bad  and  good,  and  of  all  sorts, — also 
their  dates,  that  so  you  might  be  able  to  screw  them 
into  a  beautiful  memoir  of  me  in  case  I  leave  my 
bones  at  Palmyra  or  elsewhere.  Leastwise,  if  a  man 
does  anything  all  through  life  with  a  deal  of  bother, 
and  likewise  of  some  benefit  to  others,  the  details  of 
such  bother  and  benefit  may  as  well  be  known 
accurately  as  the  contrary. 

Born  in  1812  (i2th  May),  I  began  to  draw,  for 
bread  and  cheese,  about  1827,  but  only  did  uncommon 
queer  shop-sketches — selling  them  for  prices  varying 
from  ninepence  to  four  shillings :  colouring  prints, 
screens,  fans ;  awhile  making  morbid  disease  drawings, 
for  hospitals  and  certain  doctors  of  physic.  In 

xxvii 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

1831,  through  Mrs.  Wentworth,  I  became  employed 
at   the    Zoological    Society,   and,  in   1832,   published 
"The  Family  of  the  Psittacidse,"  the  first  complete 
volume  of  coloured  drawings  of  birds  on  so  large  a 
scale  published  in  England,  as  far  as  I  know — unless 
Audubon's    were    previously   engraved.      J.    Gould's 
"Indian    Pheasants"  were  commenced  at  the  same 
time,  and  after  a  little  while  he  employed  me  to  draw 
many  of  his  birds  of  Europe,  while  I  assisted  Mrs. 
Gould  in  all  her  drawings  of  foregrounds,  as  may  be 
seen  in  a  moment  by  any  one  who  will  glance  at  my 
drawings  in  G.'s  European  birds  and  the  Toucans. 
From   1832  to  1836,  when  my  health  failed  a  good 
deal,    I   drew  much  at  the  Earl  of  Derby's  ;    and  a 
series  of  my  drawings  was  published  by  Dr.  Gray 
of  the   British  Museum — a  book  now  rare.     I  also 
lithographed   many   various   detached    subjects,    and 
a  large  series  of  Testudinata  for  Mr.  (now  Professor) 
Bell ;    and    I    made    drawings    for    Bell's    "  British 
Mammalia,"  and   for   two   or   more  volumes  of  the 
"Naturalist's  Library"  for  the  editor,  Sir  W.  Jardine, 
those  volumes  being  the   Parrots,  and,   I   think,  the 
Monkeys,  and  some  Cats.     In  1835  or  '36,  being  in 
Ireland  and  the  Lakes,   I  leaned  more  and  more  to 
landscape,  and  when  in   1837  it  was  found  that  my 
health  was  more  affected  by  the  climate  month  by 
month,  I  went  abroad,  wintering  in  Rome  till   1841, 
when  I  came  to  England  and  published  a  volume  of 
lithographs  called    "  Rome  and   its  Environs."     Re- 
turning to  Rome,   I  visited   Sicily  and  much  of  the 

xxviii 


Introduction 

South  of  Italy,  and  continued  to  make  chalk  drawings, 
though  in  1840  I  had  painted  my  two  first  oil-paintings. 
I  also  gave  lessons  in  drawing  at  Rome  and  was  able 
to  make  a  very  comfortable  living.  In  1845  I  came 
again  to  England,  and  in  1846  gave  Queen  Victoria 
some  lessons,  through  Her  Majesty's  having  seen  a 
work  I  published  in  that  year  on  the  Abruzzi,  and 
another  on  the  Roman  States.  In  1847  I  went 
through  all  Southern  Calabria,  and  again  went  round 
Sicily,  and  in  1848  left  Rome  entirely.  I  travelled 
then  to  Malta,  Greece,  Constantinople,  and  the 
Ionian  Islands ;  and  to  Mount  Sinai  and  Greece 
a  second  time  in  1849,  returning  to  England  in  that 
year.  All  1850  I  gave  up  to  improving  myself  in 
figure  drawing,  and  I  continued  to  paint  oil-paintings 
till  1853,  having  published  in  the  meantime,  in  1849 
and  1852,  two  volumes  entitled  "Journals  of  a  Land- 
scape Painter,"  in  Albania  and  Calabria.  The  first 
edition  of  the  "Book  of  Nonsense"  was  published 
in  1846,  lithographed  by  tracing-paper.  In  1854 
I  went  to  Egypt  and  Switzerland,  and  in  1855  to 
Corfu,  where  I  remained  the  winters  of  1856-57-58, 
visiting  Athos,  and,  later,  Jerusalem  and  Syria.  In 
the  autumn  of  1858  I  returned  to  England,  and  '59 
and  '60  winters  were  passed  in  Rome.  1861,  I 
remained  all  the  winter  in  England,  and  painted  the 
Cedars  of  Lebanon  and  Masada,  going,  after  my 
sister's  death  in  March,  1861,  to  Italy.  The  two 
following  winters — '62  and  '63 — were  passed  at  Corfu, 
and  in  the  end  of  the  latter  year  I  published  "Views  in 

xxix 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

the  Ionian  Islands."     In  1862  a  second  edition  of  the 
"  Book  of  Nonsense,"  much  enlarged,  was  published, 
and  is  now  in  its  sixteenth  thousand. 
O  bother ! 

Yours  affectionately 

EDWARD   LEAR. 

The  following  letters  from  1847  to  J864  tell 
their  own  story  during  those  years,  and 
therefore  nothing  further  with  regard  to  them 
is  required  in  this  introduction.  But  Lear's 
life  continued  and  his  letters  to  my  uncle 
also,  till  his  death  at  San  Remo  in  1888,  at 
the  age  of  seventy-six.  Consequently  a  slight 
sketch  is  required  here  to  make  his  life 
intelligible  from  the  time  the  letters  in  1864 
cease,  though  it  is  hoped  that  at  some  fifture 
date  should  this  series  be  found  of  interest 
to  the  public,  a  further  instalment  up  to  his 
death  of  equal  value  may  be  forthcoming. 

From  1864  to  1870  Lear  spent  his  winters 
in  Nice,  Malta,  Egypt,  and  latterly  at  Cannes. 
His  summers  were  busy  in  having  exhibitions 
at  15,  Stratford  Place,  and  from  thence  visiting 
old  friends  in  different  parts  of  England.  His 
output  of  a  year's  work  ending  April,  1865, 
was  enormous,  and  is  a  sample  of  his  stupen- 
dous industry  and  his  marvellous  capabilities  of 
work,  in  the  face  of  bad  health  and  difficulties. 

XXX 


Introduction 

During  the  time  mentioned  he  visited  Crete, 
the  Corniche  and  the  Riviera  Coast.  To 
quote  from  a  letter  of  his  to  Fortescue  of  the 
1 8th  of  the  above  month,  he  writes:  "You 
ought  some  day  to  see  the  whole  of  my  outdoor 
work  of  twelve  months — 200  sketches  in  Crete, 
145  in  the  Corniche,  and  125  at  Nice,  Antibes, 
and  Cannes."  But  at  last  in  April,  1870, 
finding  the  lease  of  his  Cannes  rooms  expiring 
and  unable  to  be  renewed  and  many  things 
unsatisfactory  and  uncertain,  he  evolved  the 
idea  of  buying  a  piece  of  land  and  building 
for  himself  a  villa  and  studio.  Land  being 
very  expensive  at  Cannes  and  a  suitable  plot 
besides  not  being  available,  he  decided  on 
settling  down  and  establishing  himself  at  San 
Remo  instead. 

He  therefore  finally  removed  from  Cannes 
in  the  following  June,  and  July  finds  him  in 
lodgings  at  San  Remo  for  a  few  months,  till 
his  new  villa  which  he  was  building  "  shall  be 
ready  for  my  occupation."  The  studio  was  in 
such  an  advanced  state  if  not  quite  finished, 
that  he  was  able  to  use  it  and  paint  in  it. 

At  this  time,  too,  he  had  been  unfortunate 
in  selling  his  pictures,  and  he  complains  that 
he  "only  got  £30  from  the  rich  Cannes  public 
this  last  winter."  His  pessimism,  which  grew 

xxxi 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

upon  him  more  and  more  as  time  passed  on, 
is  more  noticeable  at  this  period  when  he 
writes,  "  that  after  he  settles  down  in  San 
Remo,  his  visits  to  England  and  his  friends 
will  be  less  and  less,"  and  wonders  if  he  "  will 
get  any  sales  for  his  pictures." 

Besides,  another  very  serious  cause,  which 
the  following  extract  from  a  letter  of  July  31, 
1870,  will  explain,  suddenly  came  upon  him  at 
this  time  as  a  shock  and  added  to  this  state 
of  mind : 

I  must  tell  you  that  I  have  been,  at  one  time, 
extremely  ill  this  summer.  It  is  as  well  that  you 
should  know  that  I  am  told  I  have  the  same  com- 
plaint of  the  heart  as  my  father  died  of  quite  suddenly. 
I  have  had  advice  about  it,  and  they  say  I  may  live 
any  time  if  I  dorit  run  suddenly  or  go  quickly  upstairs; 
but  that  if  I  do  I  am  pretty  sure  to  drop  morto.  I  ran 
up  a  little  rocky  bit  near  the  Tenda,  and  thought  I 
shouldn't  run  any  more,  and  the  palpitations  were  so 
bad  that  I  had  to  tell  Georgio  all  about  it,  as  I  did 
not  think  I  should  have  lived  that  day  through. 

But  when  he  gets  into  the  "Villa  Emily" 
(so  named,  as  he  says  in  a  letter,  after  his  New 
Zealand  sister's  granddaughter),  his  spirits 
seem  to  rise  again.  But  through  all,  his 
letters  retain  their  humour — sometimes  gay, 
sometimes  sad — and  their  whimsicality  and 

xxxii 


Introduction 

attractiveness  never  fail.  Besides,  there  is  added, 
a  certain  charm  of  the  older  experienced  man 
with  a  riper  knowledge  of  persons  and  things. 

At  his  new  house  he  remained  more  or  less 
permanently,  till  he  went  to  India  in  1874,  by 
invitation  of  Lord  Northbrook  then  Governor- 
General,  there  making  many  sketches  for  future 
use ;  and  from  his  return  early  in  1875  to 
1 88 1  with  occasional  holidays,  the  Villa  Emily 
was  his  home.  For  some  years  it  had  been  a 
very  happy  home,  where  he  painted  his  beautiful 
pictures  and  entertained  passing  friends. 

Although  most  anxious  to  sell  his  pictures, 
he  may  sometimes,  by  his  strange  ways,  have 
turned  from  his  door  intending  purchasers. 
He  was  by  way  of  showing  his  studio  on  one 
afternoon  in  the  week.  On  this  day  he  some- 
times sent  his  servant  out  and  opened  the 
door  himself.  This  procedure  was  resorted 
to  in  order  that  he  might  keep  out  Germans, 
whose  presence,  for  some  unknown  reason 
filled  him  with  dread.  If  he  did  not  like 
the  appearance  of  a  visitor,  with  a  long  face 
and  woe  in  his  voice  he  would  explain  that 
he  never  showed  his  pictures  now,  being  much 
too  ill.  He  would  then  shut  the  door,  and 
his  cheerfulness  would  return. 

But  gradually  a  grievance  grew  up,  which 

xxxiii  A  ** 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

by  degrees  assumed  proportions  which  so 
preyed  upon  his  mind  that  he  decided  to 
abandon  his  beloved  Villa  Emily,  and  build 
another  perfectly  similar  house  on  a  site, 
where,  he  sadly  and  fancifully  observed  to  his 
friends,  he  was  safe,  "  unless  the  fishes  build." 
This  "  nightmare  "  was  the  building  of  a  huge 
hotel  close  to  his  villa,  the  reflection  from  the 
roof  of  which  he  declared,  ruined  the  light  of 
his  studio,  maddening  him  and  rendering  his 
life  hideous. 

It  was  a  great  trial  to  him  this  abandoning 
of  his  cherished  home,  the  garden  of  which 
time  had  made  a  paradise.  His  new  abode — 
the  Villa  Tennyson  as  he  called  it,  after  one 
of  his  best  friends — though  similar  in  every 
respect,  had  none  of  the  mellowed  charm 
which  age  had  given  the  older  house;  and  the 
garden,  though  he  transplanted  many  shrubs 
and  moved  various  arbours  and  pergolas  from 
the  Villa  Emily,  was  balder  and  newer  and  had 
not  the  capabilities  of  the  older  one. 

His  faithful  Suliot  servant  Georgio  who 
had  remained  with  him  ever  since  his  Corfu 
days,  now  having  a  young  son  to  help  him 
and  train  in  his  duties,  was  the  mainstay 
of  Lear's  life.  The  artist  took  a  short 
holiday  to  Bologna  and  the  North  of  Italy 

xxxiv 


Introduction 

while  the  change  of  houses  was  being  accom- 
plished, the  faithful  servant  cheerfully  coped 
with  all  the  difficulties  of  the  more  practical 
side  which  moving  to  a  new  house  entailed. 
And  from  this  time  till  Lear's  death  on  Jan. 
29,  1888,  his  home  was  the  Villa  Tennyson, 
with  occasional  holidays  during  the  early 
summer  months  to  the  North  of  Italy  and 
later  yearly  to  Monte  Generoso,  but  after  the 
year  1880  he  never  again  came  to  England. 
He  lies  buried  at  San  Remo,  beside  the 
eldest  son  of  his  faithful  Suliot  servant 
Georgio  Kokali,  and  the  stone  raised  above 
his  grave  records  the  following  touching 

memorial : — 

In  memory  of 

EDWARD  LEAR,  LANDSCAPE  PAINTER 
in  many  lands 

Born  at  Highgate  May  12.  1812 
Died  at  San  Remo  Jan  29.  1888 
Dear  for  his  many  gifts  to  many  souls. 

— "all  things  fair" 
"  With  such  a  pencil  such  a  pen '' 
"  You  shadow'd  forth  to  distant  men " 
"I  read  &  felt  that  I  was  there." 

CONSTANCE  STRACHEY. 

SUTTON  COURT,  SOMERSET, 
Oct.  4,  1907. 

XXXV 


APPRECIATION  OF  LEAR  AS  A  PAINTER 

r  I  "HE  following  note  by  my  brother-in-law, 
-*•       Mr.     Henry     Strachey,     is     an     artist's 
endeavour    to   estimate    Lear's    position   as    a 
painter.  C.  S. 

The  landscape  painting  of  Edward  Lear  has 
never  been  popular  either  with  artists  or  the 
larger  public.  The  reason  of  this  being  so 
with  the  latter  probably  depended  both  on 
fashion  and  the  fact  that  Lear  chose  to  paint 
foreign  countries  rather  than  England.  That 
fellow-painters  should  have  been  slow  to 
appreciate  Lear's  work  depended  on  other 
reasons.  What  these  were  it  may  be  of 
interest  to  try  to  discover.  I  remember  when 
I  was  a  student  at  the  Slade  School,  under 
Legros,  I  paid  a  visit  to  Lear  at  San  Remo, 
and  in  talking  of  art  he  quoted  to  me,  with 
complete  approval,  these  words  of  some  friend 
of  his,  "  Copy  the  works  of  the  Almighty 
first  and  those  of  Turner  next."  Now  the 

xxxvi 


Appreciation  as  a  Painter 

great  and  fundamental  quality  that  lies  at 
the  root  of  the  art  of  Turner  is  appreciation 
of  atmospheric  effect.  His  preoccupation  was 
not  so  much  what  the  objects  painted  were 
like  in  themselves,  but  how  they  looked  when 
modified  by  the  ever-changing  atmosphere. 
It  was  the  light  that  fell  upon  the  mountain 
rather  than  the  shapes  of  its  rocks  and  slopes 
that  Turner  represented.  He  painted  the 
scene  for  the  sake  of  the  light  that  fell  on 
it,  and  not  the  light  as  an  incident  in  the 
landscape.  The  lines  on  which  landscape 
painters  progressed  during  the  latter  half  of 
the  last  century  were  on  those  of  light  and 
atmosphere  both  here  and  in  the  great  schools 
of  France.  But  Lear  never  seems  to  have  had 
complete  sympathy  with  any  aspect  of  nature 
except  one  which  showed  him  the  greatest 
number  of  topographical  details.  If  he  painted 
the  Roman  Campagna  every  sinew  in  the 
plain  was  lovingly  recorded,  as  was  every 
arch  of  the  aqueducts,  and  even  the  lumps 
of  the  fallen  masonry  in  the  foreground. 
One  is  sometimes  tempted  to  think  that  when 
Lear  painted  an  olive-tree  near  at  hand  against 
the  sky  he  counted  the  leaves.  A  traveller 
could  almost  plan  his  route  over  a  pass  from 

one    of    this    artist's    faithful    realisations   of 

xxxvii 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

mountains.  To  help  him  portray  nature 
minutely  the  "  topographical  artist  " — and  I 
remember  hearing  Lear  call  himself  by  this 
title — wishes  for  quiet,  equal  light  and  weather. 
For  his  purpose  the  shadows  of  storm  clouds 
are  things  which  blurr  and  obscure,  though 
for  the  emotional  painter  they  may  turn  a 
commonplace  scene  into  a  picture.  Lear's 
interest  in  landscape  was  dual  :  he  was  both 
a  painter  and  a  traveller.  This  appears  in 
the  letters  forming  this  volume  ;  indeed,  it 
often  seems  as  if  the  historic  and  geographical 
interest  predominated.  In  saying  this  it  must 
be  remembered  that  it  is  much  easier  to 
express  in  words  these  constituents  of  a 
scene  than  it  is  a  purely  aesthetic  impression. 
If  it  must  be  admitted  that  a  large  part  of 
Lear's  outlook  on  nature  was  not  purely 
pictorial,  to  him  must  be  conceded  a  very 
real  and  true  sense  of  beauty.  It  is  because 
he  could  feel  the  beauty  of  nature  and  record 
it  with  individuality  that  his  work  is  valuable, 
and  not  because  it  represents  exactly  some 
given  piece  of  country.  The  labyrinthine 
valleys  of  the  blue  mountains  above  Ther- 
mopylae, as  seen  in  the  picture  reproduced 
in  this  book,  weave  patterns  of  beauty  which 
are  independent  of  historic  association.  In- 

xxxviii 


Appreciation  as  a  Painter 

stances  might  be  multiplied  where  the  artist 
has  got  the  upper  hand  of  the  topographer, 
and  the  result  has  been  a  picture.  Lear 
painted  both  in  water  colour  and  in  oil.  It 
was,  however,  in  the  former  medium  that  he 
was  most  successful.  The  delicate  drawing 
and  the  tendency  to  use  fine  lines  made  the 
more  fluid  water  colour  answer  to  his  hand 
better  than  the  oil  paint.  Indeed,  he  seems 
never  quite  happy  when  working  with  the 
latter,  and  he  is  always  trying  to  make  it 
behave  like  the  more  limpid  medium. 

Only  on  the  rarest  occasions  did  Lear  use 
the  sky  except  as  background.  I  cannot  recall 
a  picture  of  his  in  which  the  motive  was  essen- 
tially a  cloud  effect.  This  was  partly  due,  no 
doubt,  to  the  southern  climates  in  which  he 
painted,  with  their  predominance  of  blue  sky. 
Also  I  think  the  painter's  love  of  the  realisa- 
tion of  minute  detail  made  him  feel  that 
things  which  stayed  still  to  be  drawn  were 
those  which  best  suited  his  style. 

The  love  of  detailed  representation  naturally 
made  Lear  range  himself  with  the  Preraphaelite 
painters.  He,  indeed,  considered  himself  one 
of  the  brotherhood  in  the  second  generation. 
This  is  the  meaning  of  his  allusion  in  the 
letters  to  Mr.  Holman  Hunt  as  his  father.  I 

xxxix 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

remember  his  telling  me  that  he  looked  upon 
Millais  as  his  artistic  uncle. 

As  a  colourist  Lear  was  simple  rather  than 
subtle.  Straightforward  harmonies  of  blue 
suited  him  best.  Many  exquisitely  beautiful 
water-colour  drawings  of  the  blue  Apennines 
overlooking  the  aqueduct-lined  Campagna 
came  from  his  hand.  No  one  has  given 
better  than  he  has  the  strange  charm  of  this 
melancholy  landscape.  His  success  in  this 
direction  is,  I  think,  due  to  that  delicate  sense 
of  style  which  he  possessed  and  which  is 
needed  to  interpret  such  a  classic  scene.  If 
Lear's  pictures  cannot  rank  beside  those  of  the 
great  masters  of  landscape,  the  best  of  his 
works  will  always  have  a  real  value  for  those 
who  see  beyond  the  fashion  of  the  moment. 
This  will  be  so  because  the  artist's  work  was 
always  dignified  and  sincere,  and  he  had  a  true 
if  somewhat  formal  sense  of  beauty.  More- 
over, his  style  was  perfectly  individual  and 

distinctive. 

H.  STRACHEY 


NOTE 


AMONG  the  various  small  details  and 
elucidations  which  have  reached  me 
since  the  first  edition  of  this  book  was  pub- 
lished, many  have  been  too  late  to  be  incor- 
porated in  the  text  of  the  second  impression. 
I  propose,  therefore,  to  condense  these  into 
a  short  postscript  to  my  preface. 

Through  correspondents  both  known  and 
unknown  many  small  matters  have  been 
cleared  up,  and  I  am  therefore  able  thus  to 
make  use  of  their  kind  help  in  these  pages. 
Beginning  with  page  xxxii,  Lord  Tennyson 
tells  me  it  was  always  said  in  the  family  "  that 
the  Villa  Emily  was  called  after  his  mother, 
Lady  Tennyson."  This  is  very  probably  the 
case,  and  possibly  in  some  way  indirectly  the 
grand-daughter,  if  a  godchild  of  Lear's,  may 
have  been  given  the  name  of  one  of  those  he 
loved  best. 

At   page  6   the    Mrs.    Sartoris   mentioned 

xli 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

in  Roman  society  when  Lear  was  painting 
there  in  1848,  was  not  Miss  Barrington  but 
her  sister-in-law  Mrs.  Edward  Sartoris,  the 
well-known  Adelaide  Kemble. 

Again  at  page  66,  her  husband  Edward 
Sartoris,  is  supposed  by  a  correspondent,  to 
be  identified  in  the  drawing  companion 
"  Edward,"  whom  Lear  misses  so  terribly  at 
Corfu  in  1857. 

At  page  222,  mention  is  made  of  "one 
Luard,"  who  attracts  Lear  both  as  a  person 
and  by  the  "  thirty  lettered  "  definition  of  his 
tastes.  Now  Major-General  C.  E.  Luard,  R.E. 

Since  interrogatively  and  humbly  naming 
the  plate  at  page  243  for  want  of  better,  as 
Gozo,  Malta,  owing  to  a  similarity  of  "shere 
rocks"  between  it  and  a  photogravure  given 
in  "The  Poems  by  Alfred  Lord  Tennyson," 
illustrated  by  Lear,  I  have  been  informed  by 
an  old  friend  and  pupil  of  Mr.  Lear  who 
possesses  a  sketch  of  the  subject  though  also 
unnamed,  that  to  the  best  of  his  remembrance 
he  is  certain  that  the  scene  represents  "  Kom 
Ombos,  Egypt,"  painted  to  illustrate  Tenny- 
son's line  "the  crag  that  fronts  the  even,  all 
along  the  shadowy  shore."  A  correspondent  a 
charming  old  lady  of  81,  refers  in  an  inter- 
esting letter  to  the  expression  "Abercrom- 

xlii 


Preface 

bically"  on  page  129.  In  her  young  days, 
she  says,  Dr.  John  Abercrombie  a  great  Scotch 
physician,  was  the  well-known  author  of  "  The 
Intellectual  Powers,"  "The  Moral  Feelings," 
and  "  The  Culture  and  Discipline  of  the 
Mind."  These  works  had  a  great  vogue  at 
that  time,  and  young  ladies  were  given  them 
to  read.  She  quotes,  "  How  to  live  and  act 
'  Abercrombically '  is  best  shown  on  pp.  143 
and  144  of  the  latter  work.  Dr.  Abercrombie 
chose  a  high  standard,  and  bade  his  disciples 
adhere  to  it  uncompromisingly."  Hence  when 
Lear  says  Woodward  preaches  "  Abercrom- 
bically," and  Fortescue  writes  and  acts  so, 
they  are  carrying  out  the  gospel  laid  down 
in  these  books.  Consequently  on  these  occa- 
sions their  actions  are  full  of  correctness  and 
decorum  of  a  high  order. 

With  reference  to  the  Greek  and  its  transla- 
tion on  which  I  had  a  great  deal  of  correspon- 
dence, confusion  has  been  caused  by  so  much 
of  Lear's  Greek  having  been  modern  Greek. 
I  have  had  kindly  help  from  many  Greek 
scholars,  who  have  sent  me  corrections  which, 
in  a  later  edition  if  such  ever  sees  the  light, 
will  quite  perfect  what  now  stands  as  faulty. 

Of  the  more  conspicuous  mistakes  in  trans- 
lation, the  following  corrections  may  be 

xliii 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

incorporated  in  this  preface.  Page  60,  "  O 
mighty  Krites,  Richard  son  of  Cyrus,  wishes 
me  to  send  you  greeting,"  should  read,  "  The 
mighty  judge,  Sir  Richard  Bethell,  wishes  me 
to  send  you  his  greetings."  Again  at  page  74, 
note  3  should  stand  as  "  The  Morier,  fat  and 
beautiful,"  and  at  page  116,  note  4  should 
read  thus,  "  The  day  after  to-morrow  I  will 
come  to  you  before  eleven  o'clock  to  greet 
you — and  see  with  admiration  your  pictures 
of  Palestine.  Fearful  must  be  the  ups-and- 
downs  of  the  Ionian  Sea,  such  brayings  I 
never  heard  of." 

At  page  253,  note  i  should  read,  "  Let 
us  talk  to-morrow  at  breakfast." 

On  page  148,  Lear  writes  1*1  KoXo'vo"  instead 
of  the  correct  lm  KoAa>v<£,  perhaps  as  a  pun 
on  "  Colonies." 

Lord  Sanderson,  who  was  a  friend  both  of 
the  late  Lord  Derby  and  Lear,  gives  me  the 
following  interesting  version  of  Lear's  intro- 
duction to  his  great  patron.  The  information, 
which  was  given  to  Lord  Sanderson  by  the 
late  Mr.  Latter  who  had  been  librarian  at 
Knowsley  since  1871,  and  previously  employed 
there  he  believes  from  his  boyhood  was  as 
follows :  "  Lord  Derby  said  to  one  of  his 
friends  who  had  been  staying  at  Knowsley 

xliv 


Preface 

and  was  going  up  to  London,  that  he  wished 
to  find  some  young  artist  who  would  come 
down  to  Knowsley  and  make  paintings  of  the 
birds.  The  friend  (I  am  not  sure  if  I  was 
told  the  name,  but  if  I  was  I  have  forgotten 
it)  promised  to  make  inquiries,  and  some  time 
afterwards  he  saw  in  a  print-shop  a  small 
water-colour  drawing  of  two  birds  and  a 
nest,  priced  at  a  low  sum,  which  struck  him 
as  having  considerable  merit.  He  bought 
the  drawing  and  asked  who  the  artist  was. 
The  shopman  said  it  was  a  young  man  of  the 
name  of  Lear,  who  was  extremely  poor  and 
made  these  sketches  for  his  living.  The  friend 
sought  out  Lear,  made  some  further  inquiries, 
and  wrote  to  Lord  Derby  that  he  thought  he 
had  found  a  young  man  who  would  suit.  The 
result  was  an  invitation  to  Knowsley  and  the 
commencement  of  Lear's  work  there — which, 
however,  was  intermittent. 

Mr.  Latter  also  told  me  that  on  the  "  first 
occasion  of  giving  a  lesson  to  The  Queen,  Lear, 
who  was  rather  roughly  dressed  and  was 
always  awkward  in  appearance,  went  to  the 
door  at  Osborne  and  simply  said  he  wished 
to  see  The  Queen.  The  servants  were  a  good 
deal  perplexed,  but  showed  him  into  a  room 
where  an  equerry  came  to  see  him.  On 

xlv 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

his  repeating  that  he  had  come  to  see  The 
Queen,  the  equerry  blandly  inquired  what 
was  the  business  on  which  he  came,  being 
convinced  that  he  was  a  lunatic.  To  which 
he  replied,  'Oh,  I'm  Lear,'  and  some  further 
inquiries  revealed  the  fact  that  he  had  an 
appointment  to  give  a  lesson." 

Mrs.  Henry  Grenfell  also  gives  me  some 
valuable  information  as  to  Lear's  introduction 
at  Knowsley.  She  writes,  "  I  have  often  heard 
my  husband  tell  how  Lear  first  got  introduced 
to  'Society'  at  Knowsley.  He  (Henry  R. 
Grenfell)  lived  much  at  his  uncle's,  Lord  Sefton, 
at  Croxteth  close  by,  and  was  told  the  story  by 
the  young  Stanleys.  Old  Lord  Derby  liked  to 
have  his  grandsons'  company  after  dinner,  and 
one  day  complained  that  they  constantly  left 
him  as  soon  as  dinner  was  over.  Their  reply 
was,  '  It  is  so  much  more  amusing  downstairs ! ' 
'  Why  ? '  '  Oh,  because  that  young  fellow  in 
the  steward's  room  who  is  drawing  the  birds 
for  you  is  such  good  company,  and  we  like  to 
go  and  hear  him  talk/ 

"  Like  a  wise  man,  instead  of  scolding  them, 
and  after  full  inquiry,  he  invited  Lear  to  dine 
upstairs  instead  of  in  the  steward's  room,  and 
not  only  Lord  Derby,  but  all  his  friends  were 

equally  delighted  with  him,  and  it  ended  in  his 

xlvi 


Preface 

being  a  welcomed  guest  there  and  well  known 
to  the  many  visitors  at  Knowsley  who  became 
his  friends." 


K  short  time  ago  I  came  across  a  little  plan 
of  visits  to  be  made  by  Lear  before  starting 

xlvii 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

and  reaching  Rome,  by  Christmas  Day.  It  is 
exact  and  minute,  as  he  always  was  in  all  he 
did,  and  also  proves  his  "  genius  "  for  friend- 
ship— typified  on  page  16  in  the  following 
sentence:  "I  trust  to  get  through  14  or  15 
visits  out  of  my  68."  It  has  seemed  to  me 
that  a  reproduction  of  this  "  Progress  of  Lear," 
in  his  own  handwriting,  would  be  of  interest. 

I  rather  think  from  investigation  that  the 
date  must  refer  to  the  latter  end  of  1859,  and 
that  dilatory-wise  Lear  getting  belated,  only 
arrived  as  will  be  seen  at  page  157,  as  far  as 
Marseilles  by  the  26th  of  December,  on  his 
journey  Rome-ward. 

I  would  take  this  opportunity  of  thanking 
the  public  and  the  reviewers,  for  the  kind  way 
the  first  edition  of  this  book  has  been  received. 
My  reward  is  in  knowing  that  the  memory  of 
one  who  was  such  a  delightful  and  lovable 
combination  of  complexities,  has  had  appre- 
ciation not  only  as  the  author  of  the  Books 
of  Nonsense,  but  as  a  man. 

"  Exceeding  wise,  fair-spoken,  and  persuading : 
Lofty  and  sour  to  them  who  loved  him  not ; 
But    to   those   men    that   sought    him   sweet   as 
summer." 


xlviii 


PENTIiDATILO. 
From  Lear's  "Journal  of  a  Landscape  Painter  in  Calabria"  ( K.  Kentley,  1852). 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

CHAPTER   I 

1847,  to  August,   1853 

ROME,  GREECE,  AND  ENGLAND 

THE  earliest  letter  in  this  collection  which 
I  have  found  is  dated  October  16, 
1847,  written  to  my  uncle,  Chichester 
Fortescue,  by  Edward  Lear  immediately  on 
his  return  to  Rome  (his  headquarters  at  that 
time)  from  his  tour  in  Calabria.  The  diary 
he  kept  on  that  journey  was  published  in 
1852,  illustrated  by  many  striking  litho- 
graphs made  from  sketches  taken  during 
the  tour,  two  of  which  are  here  reproduced. 
The  whole  of  Italy  at  this  time  was  in  a 
state  of  political  upheaval  and  unrest ;  the 
people  felt  that  the  time  for  more  liberal 
forms  of  government  had  come. 

Chichester  Fortescue,  then   in   his   twenty- 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

fourth  year,  had,  after  a  brilliant  Oxford 
career,  following  the  usual  course  of  young 
men  of  the  aristocratic  class  of  that  period, 
just  completed  the  grand  tour,  including 
Greece,  with  his  friend  Sir  Francis  Scott, 
of  Great  Barr.  He  returned  to  find  a  seat 
in  Parliament  in  his  native  county  of  Louth 
awaiting  him,  and  at  once  was  launched 
into  political  as  well  as  social  life  in  London* 
The  sudden  necessity  of  returning  to  England 
prevented  his  joining  Lear  in  Rome  as  he 
had  intended  to  do,  and  was  the  cause  of 
the  appearance  of  Sir  Francis  Scott  alone, 
at  which  Lear  took  umbrage — afterwards 
regretting  his  conduct. 


Lear  to  Fortescue. 

107,  2DO,  VIA  FELICI,  ROMA. 

16  Oct.,  1847. 

DEAR  FORTESCUE, — Do  not  expect  an  unhampered 
&  simple  epistle  as  of  yore,  but  allow  something 
for  the  effect  of  your  M.P'ism  on  my  pen  and 
thoughts :  Or  rather  I  will  forget  for  a  space  that  you 
are  a  British  senator,  &  write  to  that  Chichester 
Fortescue  whose  shirt  I  cribbed  at  Palestrina. 

Your  letter,  (one  of  27,  awaiting  my  coming, 
which  coming  took  place  extremely  late  last  night,) 

2 


Rome,  Greece,  and  England 

diverts  me  highly : — Proby l  my  constant  com- 
panion (&  few  there  be  better,)  agrees  with  me 
about  your  view  of  the  road  to  Aviano — which  we 
have  only  just,  oddly  enough  gone  over.  Avellino 
is  certainly  exquisite,  &  so  is  Mte.  Vergine  when 
not  in  a  fog, — But  of  Apulia  we  saw  little,  only 
from  hills  apart,  because  why?  the  atmosphere  was 
pisonous  in  Septbr.  Nevertheless  Proby  went  to 
Cannae,  and  I  believe  found  one  of  Annibals  shoes 
or  spurs, — also  a  pinchbeck  snuffbox  with  a  Bramah 
lock  belonging  to  a  Roman  genl. — I  rather  chose 
to  go  see  Castel  del  Monte,  a  strange  record  of 
old  F.  Barbarossa  &  which  well  repaid  no  end  of 
disgust  in  getting  at  it.  We  saw  the  tree  Horace 
slept  under  at  Mte.  Volture,  &  were  altogether 
much  edified  by  the  classicalities  of  Basilicata. 

I  will  begin  from  the  beginning.  First  then  I 
went  (May  3)  to  Palermo,  &  on  the  nth  set 
out  with  Proby  for  Segestse.  Excepting  a  run 
round  by  Trapani  &  Massala,  &  a  diversion  to 
Modica,  Noto,  and  Spaccaforno,  one  Sicilian  giro 
was  like  that  of  all  the  multitude.  The  Massala  trip 
does  not  pay — &  the  only  break  to  the  utter 
monotony  of  life  &  scenery  occurred  by  a  little  dog 
biting  the  calf  of  my  leg  very  unpleasantly  as  I 
walked  unsuspectingly  in  a  vineyard.  At  the  caves 
of  Ipeica  we  became  acquaint  with  a  family  of 

1  John,  Lord  Proby,  eldest  son  of  the  Earl  of  Carysfort,  of 
whom  Lear  speaks  as  such  u  an  excellent  companion,"  was  a 
friend  of  long  standing.  He  died  in  1858. 

3 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

original  Froglodytes  :  they  are  very  good  creatures, 
mostly  sitting  on  their  hams,  &  feeding  on  lettuces  & 
honey.  I  proposed  bringing  away  an  infant  Frog, 
but  Proby  objected.  Siracuse  only  wanted  your 
presence  to  make  our  stay  more  pleasant :  I  waited 
for  and  expected  you  every  day.  We  abode  in  a 
quarry  per  lo  piu,  &  left  the  place  sorryly.  From 
Catania  we  saw  Etna  &  went  up  it :  a  task,  but 
now  it  is  done  I  am  glad  I  did  it :  such  extremes  of 
heat  and  cold  at  once  I  never  thought  it  possible 
to  feel.  Taormina  the  Magnificent  we  staid  at  4  or  5 
days,  &  then  from  Messina  returned  by  that  abomin- 
able North  Coast  to  Palermo,  just  in  time  for  the 
fete  of  Sta  Rosalia  a  noisy  scene  which  made  me 
crosser  than  ever,  and  drove  away  the  small  remains 
of  peaceful  good  temper  the  ugliness  of  the  North 
Coast  had  left  me. 

So,  1 9th  July — we  returned  to  Naples — &  there, 
as  at  Palermo  was  Scott — &  to  my  disgust — no 
Fortescue.  I  fear  when  Scott  sent  up  your  card,  & 
then  entered  too  soon  himself- — I  fear  my  visage  fell 
very  rudely.  But  I  wish  much  now  I  had  seen  more  of 
Sir  F.  Scott :  as  he  improves  immensely  on  knowing 
him.  On  the  26th  we  left  Messina  for  Reggio. 
(N.B.  I  have  crossed  the  sea  from  Naples  to  Sicily  so 
often  this  year,  that  I  know  nearly  all  the  porpoises 
by  their  faces,  &  many  of  the  Merluzzi.)  Would 
I  had  gone  on  to  the  2nd  &  3rd  provinces  :  but 
the  revolution  which  bust  out  in  Reggio  prevented 
me.  What  is  the  use  of  all  these  revolutions  which 

4 


Rome,  Greece,  and  England 

lead  to  nothing  ?  as  the  displeased  turnspit  said 
to  an  angry  cookmaid. — Returning  to  Naples  for 
the  1 99th  time,  we  disposed  of  a  month  as  I  have 
said  over  leaf,  in  the  provinces  of  Basilicata, 
Melfi,  Venosa,  etc.  etc.,  and  were  not  sorry  to  have 
done  so. 

Rome  is  full  of  fuss  and  froth  :  but  I  believe  now 
that  Pio  IX.  is  a  real  good  man,  &  a  wonder.  Rail- 
roads, gaslight,  pavements,  for  all  to  be  done  in 
1960?  The  last  part  of  my  stay  here  was  a  blank 
from  the  death  of  my  oldest  Roman  friend,  good  kind 
Lady  Susan  Percy.1 

Remember  me  to  my  friends,  &  believe  me, 
Dear  Fortescue, 

sincerely  yours, 

EDWARD  LEAR. 

107  2 DO  VIA  FELICI,  ROMA, 

Feby.  12,  1848. 

Your  letter  of  Oct.  25th  1847,  ought  to  have  been 
answered  before  now,  &  I  have  been  going  to  do  so 
ever  since  I  had  it,  but  I  have  said  to  myself  "  what's 
the  use  of  writing  to-day  when  you  haven't  20  minutes 
— or  to-day  when  you've  got  the  toothache,  or  to-day 
when  you  are  so  cross  ?  Fortescue  won't  thank  you 
for  a  stupid  letter,  particularly  as  his  was  so  very 
amusing,  so  you'd  better  wait  you  had.  And  so  I 
have  till  I'm  ashamed  of  the  delay  and  therefore  I'll 
send  off  note  i8th  be  the  letter  of  what  degree  of 
badness  it  may.  First  glancing  over  your  bi-sheeted 
1  She  was  a  sister  of  the  fifth  Duke  of  Northumberland. 

5 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

epistle — thank  you  for  your  introduction  to  Baring  : l 
he  is  an  extremely  luminous  &  amiable  brick,  and  I 
like  him  very  much,  &  I  suppose  he  likes  me  or  he 
wouldn't  take  the  trouble  of  knocking  me  up  as  he 
does,  considering  the  lot  of  people  he  might  take  to 
instead.  We  have  been  out  once  or  twice  in  the 
Campagna,  and  go  to  Mrs.  Sartoris,2  or  other 
evening  popular  approximations  together.  He 
would  draw ;  very  well,  and  indeed  does,  but  has 
little  practice.  Altogether  he  is  one  of  the  best 
specimens  of  young  English  here  this  winter,  tho' 
there  is  a  tolerably  good  sprinkling  of  elect  & 
rational  beings  too.  In  fact  it  is  a  propitious  season, 
the  rumours  of  distraction  prevented  a  many  nasty 
vulgar  people  from  coming,  and  there  is  really  room 
to  move.  Among  families,  Greys,  Herberts,  Clives  3 
stand  promiscuous  ;  of  young  ladies,  Miss  W. 
Horton,  &  Miss  Lindsay  are  first  to  my  taste,  & 
of  married  ones,  Mrs.  G.  Herbert  &  Mrs.  Clive, — 
then  Lady  W.  is  admired  though  by  me  not : 
she  is  so  like  a  wren,  I'm  sure  she  must  turn  into 
a  wren  when  she  dies.  The  variety  of  foreign 
society  is  delightful,  particularly  with  long  names  : 
e.g.,  Madame  Pul-itz-neck-off — and  Count  Bigenouff; 

1  Afterwards  first  Earl  of  Northbrook,  Governor-General  of 
India,  1872-6. 

2  Daughter  of  Lord  Harrington. 

3  George  Clive,  a  close  personal  friend  of  Lear's,  was  a 
barrister  and  politician,  and  at  this  time  Judge  of  County  Court 
Circuits.     He  became  Under- Secretary  of  State  for  the  home 
department  1859-1862. 

6 


Rome,  Greece,  and  England 

— Baron  Polysuky,  &  Mons.  Pig  : — I  never  heard 
such  a  list.  I  am  afraid  to  stand  near  a  door,  lest 
the  announced  names  should  make  me  grin. — Then 
there  is  a  Lady  Mary  Ross,1  and  a  most  gigantic 
daughter — whom  Italians  wittily  call  "  the  great 
Ross-child,"  and  her  mama,  "  Rosso-antico."  ...  I 
miss  the  Gordon's2  and  my  old  kind  friend  Lady 
S.  Percy  sadly,  &  somehow  the  6  &  3O-ness  of  my 
sentiments  and  constitution  make  me  rather  graver 
than  of  old : — also,  the  uncertainty  of  matters  here 
and  everywhere,  and  my  own  unfixedness  of  plans, 
conspire  to  make  me  more  unstable  &  ass-like  than 
usual.  .  .  . 

And  now  regarding  yourself  I  heard  all  about  your 
Greek  tour  with  interest,  and  that  you  were  returned 
to  England  and  for  Louth,  as  you  will  have  found  by 
a  disgusting  little  letter  I  sent  you  at  the  end  of 
last  October.  The  most  important  part  of  your 
letter  seems  to  me  that  which  gives  me  news  of  your 
being  so  rich  a  man  3  : — I  can  only  say  I  am  sincerely 
glad  of  it,  and  I  don't  flatter  you  when  I  say  I  believe 
you  will  make  as  good  a  use  of  your  money  as 
anybody.  I  long  to  know  how  you  like  your  new 
parliamentary  life  : — (Do  you  know  a  friend  of  mine, 
Bonham  Carter  M.P.  for  Winchester?  4  This 

1  One  of  the  daughters  and  co-heiresses  of  the  2nd  Marquess 
Cornwallis.  2  Sir  A.  and  Lady  Duff  Gordon. 

3  Fortescue  inherited  Red  House,  Ardee,  Co.  Louth,  from 
Mr.  Ruxton  his  uncle,  whose  wife  was  a  sister  of  Fortescue's 
father,  Col.  Fortescue  of  Dromiskin. 

*  Brother-in-law  of  Baring. 

7 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

reminds  me  of  "  Have  you  been  in  India  ?  "  "  Yes." 
"  O  then  do  you  know  my  friend  Mr.  Jones  ? ") 
So  pray  let  me  hear  from  you.  .  .  . 

Now  I  am  at  the  end  of  replying  to  your  letter, 
and  a  very  jolly  one  it  is.  So  I  must  e'en  turn 
over  another  stone  as  the  sandpiper  said  when  he 
was  alooking  for  vermicules.  You  ask  what  I  am 
about,  making  of  little  paintings,  one  for  Ld. 
Canning  etc.  etc.,  and  one  of  a  bigger  growth  for 
Ld.  Ward,  but  I  am  in  a  disturbidous  state  along 
of  my  being  undecided  as  to  how  I  shall  go  on  with 
art,  knowing  that  figure  drawing  is  that  which  I  know 
least  of  &  yet  is  the  "crown  and  roof  of  things."  I 
have  a  plan  of  going  to  Bowen  I  at  Corfu  and  thence 
Archipelago  or  Greeceward,  (Greece  however  is  in  a 
very  untravellable  state  just  now)  should  the  state  of 
Italy  prevent  my  remaining  in  it  for  the  summer. 
But  whether  I  stop  here  to  draw  figure,  or  whether  I 
go  to  Apulia  &  Calabria,  or  whether  I  Archipela  go 
(V.  A.  Archipelago,  P.  Archipelawent,  P.  P.  Archi- 
pelagone)  or  whatever  I  do,  I  strongly  long  to  go  to 
Egypt  for  the  next  winter  as  ever  is,  if  so  be  as  I  can 
find  a  sufficiency  of  tin  to  allow  of  my  passing  4  or 

5  months  there.     I  am  quite  crazy  about   Memphis 

6  On    &    Isis    &     crocodiles    and    ophthalmia    & 
nubians,   and   simooms    &   sorcerers,    &    sphingidce. 

1  Afterwards  Sir  George  Fergusson  Bowen,  and  successively 
Governor  of  Queensland,  New  Zealand,  and  other  colonies. 
At  this  time  he  was  President  of  the  University  of  Corfu,  and  in 
1854  he  was  appointed  Chief  Secretary  to  Sir  J.  Young,  Lord 
High  Commissioner  of  the  Ionian  Islands. 

8 


Rome,  Greece,  and  England 

Seriously  the  contemplation  of  Egypt  must  fill  the 
mind,  the  artistic  mind  I  mean,  with  great  food  for 
the  rumination  of  long  years.  I  have  a  strong  wish 
also  to  see  Syria,  &  Asia  Minor  and  all  sorts  of 
grisogorious  places,  but,  but,  who  can  tell  ?  You  see 
therefore  in  how  noxious  a  state  of  knownothingatall- 
aboutwhatoneisgoingtodo-ness  I  am  in.  Yet  this  is 
clear  : — the  days  of  possible  Lotus-eating  are  diminish- 
ing, &  by  the  time  I  am  40  I  would  fain  be  in 
England  once  more.  .  .  . 

But  a  truce  to  growling  and  reflections.  I  should 
have  told  you  that  Bowen  has  written  to  me  in  the 
kindest  possible  manner,  asking  me  to  go  and  stay 
with  him  at  Corfu  and  I  shall  regret  if  I  can't  do  so. 
I  wish  to  goodness  I  was  a  polype  and  could  cut 
myself  in  six  bits.  I  wish  you  were  downstairs  in 
that  little  room. 

The  introduction  to  Baring,  afterwards  first 
Earl  of  Northbrook,  of  which  Lear  here 
speaks  with  such  genuine  pleasure,  was 
to  be  the  beginning  of  a  friendship  which 
lasted  until  his  death.  Baring,  throughout 
his  long  and  varied  public  career,  was  not 
only  a  true  friend  to  him,  but  also  a  patron 
of  the  kindest  and  most  generous  description. 

In  the  summer  of  the  same  year,  Lear 
undertook  a  long-desired  visit  to  Greece,  in 
the  company  of  Canon  Church,  another 

9 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

old  friend  and  patron.  To  this  visit  we  are 
indebted  for  one  of  the  most  beautiful  pictures 
he  ever  painted,  a  large  oil-painting  of  Ther- 
mopylae. Several  replicas  of  this  work  exist, 
but  I  believe  that  the  one  possessed  by 
Fortescue  and  reproduced  in  this  book,  is 
the  original. 

HOTEL  D'ORIENT,  ATHENS, 

July  19,  1848. 

Here  I  am  having  made  somewhat  of  a  dash  into 
Greece,  but  most  unluckily,  obliged  to  haul  up  and 
lay  by  for  the  present.  You  may  perhaps  see  my 
handwriting  is  queerish,  the  fact  is  I  am  recovering 
rapidly  thank  God,  from  a  severe  touch  of  fever, 
caught  at  Platcea  &  perfected  in  ten  days  at  Thebes. 
I  did  not  think  I  should  ever  have  got  over  it,  nor 
should  I,  but  for  the  skill  of  two  doctors,  &  the  kind- 
ness of  my  companion  Church.  I  was  brought  here 
by  4  horses  on  an  Indiarubber  bed,  am  wonderfully 
better,  &  in  that  state  of  hunger  which  is  frightful 
to  bystanders.  I  could  eat  an  ox.  Many  matters 
contributed  to  this  disaster,  first  a  bad  fall  from  my 
horse,  and  a  sprained  shoulder,  which  for  three  weeks 
irritated  one's  blood,  besides  that  I  could  not  ride. 
2nd.  A  bite  from  a  Centipede  or  some  horror, 
which  swelled  up  all  my  leg  &  produced  a  swelling 
like  Philoctetes'  toe,  and  lastly,  I  was  such  a  fool  ; 
as  go  to  Platcea  forgetting  my  umbrella,  where 
the  sun  finished  me.  However,  I  don't  mean  to 

10 


Rome,  Greece,  and  England 

give  up  and  am  very  thankful  to  be  as  well  as 
I  am. 

I  came  you  know  here  on  June  ist  with  Sir 
S.  Canning,1  and  staid  a  fortnight  working  like  mad. 
On  the  1 3th  Church  and  I  set  out.  Chalcis  is  most 
interesting  &  picturesque,  what  figures !  would,  ah ! 
would  I  could  draw  the  figures !  We  then  resolved 
to  do  Eubcea,  so,  igth,  Eretria,  very  fine.  Aliveri, 
&  Kumi.  2 1  st.  Pass  of  mountains,  grangrongrously 
magnificent !  Alas  !  for  the  little  time  to  draw  !  28th 
Lamia.  2gth  a  run  up  to  Patragik  a  queer  mountain 
place.  All  these  things  we  were  constantly  warned 
off,  as  full  of  rebels,  brigands  &c.,  but  we  found  all 
things  as  quiet  as  Pimlico.  3Oth  Thermopylae!  how 
superb!  &  Bodonitza.  July  ist.  Costantino  & 
Argizza.  2nd  Proschino  &  Martini.  3rd,  over 
Kokino  &  the  mountains  to  the  Thebes.  Only  this 
last,  of  the  last  3  days  was  good.  Thebes  is  sub- 
lime, but  as  I  said,  the  day  following  it  became  a 
grisogorious  place  to  me. 

I  must  stop  for  I  am  not  much  writable  yet.  Give 
my  love  to  Sir  F.  Scott  if  you  see  him  &  to  Baring : 
I  am  glad  he  is  secretary  or  anything  good,  as  he 
is  such  an  extreme  brick. 

THERAPIA,  2$th  August,  1848. 

Your  kind  letter,  just  exactly  though  what  \ 
expected,  came  to-day,  much  sooner  than  I  anticipated. 

1  Sir  Stratford  Canning,  afterwards  Lord  Stratford  de  Red- 
cliffe,  at  this  time  Ambassador  at  Constantinople. 

II 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Alas!  of  myself  I  can  give  you  but  a  most  flaccid 
account,  greatly  to  be  summed  up  in  the  word  "  bed," 
but  not  wholly  so.  However  I  have  known  perfect 
health  for  1 1  years  thank  God,  and  if  the  tables 
are  turned  I  must  not  be  ungrateful,  indeed  I  have 
been  able  to  suck  a  large  lesson  of  patience  out  of 
my  2  months  compulsory  idleness,  and  I  hope  I  may 
be  like  any  Lamb  if  ever  we  meet  again. 

I  continued  to  recover  after  I  wrote  to  you, 
(2Oth  July)  &  left  Athens  in  good  spirits  &  pretty 
strong,  (i.e.  I  was  able  to  walk  as  far  as  the  Acropolis 
slowly,  &  with  a  stick,)  on  the  27th  to  Alexandria. 
Then  I  speedly  fell  ill  again,  but  differently  : — yet 
when  I  got  to  Constple  I  was  obliged  to  be  taken 
up  to  the  Hotel  in  a  sedan  chair.  Well,  after  two 
days  I  went  up  to  the  Embassy  &  was  instantly 
put  to  bed  with  erysipelas  &  fever,  and  did  not 
emerge  on  the  banks  of  the  Bosphorus  till  about 
August  13  ;  and  then  very  feebly.  Since  then  I 
went  a-head  but  had  bad  fever  fits  from  not  minding 
diet :  to-day  as  2  days  have  gone  and  the  enemy 
comes  not  again,  I  have  hope  an  am  an  hungered. 
Hunger!  did  you  ever  have  a  fever?  No  con- 
sideration of  morality  or  sentiment  or  fear  of  punish- 
ment would  prevent  my  devouring  any  small  child 
who  entered  this  room  now.  I  have  eaten  every- 
thing in  it  but  a  wax-candle  and  a  bad  lemon. 
This  house  is  detached  from  the  big  Embassy  Palace 
&  is  inhabited  by  attaches,  and  though  Lady  Canning  * 
1  Wife  of  the  Ambassador. 

12 


Rome,  Greece,  and  England 

is  as  kind  as  70  mothers  to  me,  yet  I  see  little  of 
them.  Could  I  look  out  on  any  scene  of  beauty, 
my  lot  would  be  luminous  ;  bless  you !  the  Bosphorus 
hereabouts  at  least,  is  the  ghastliest  humbug  going ! 
Compare  the  Straits  of  Menai  or  Southampton 
Waters  or  the  Thames  to  it!  It  has  neither  form 
of  hill  nor  character  of  any  possible  kind  in  its 
detail.  A  vile  towing  path  is  the  only  walk  here 


or  a  great  pull  up  a  bare  down, — of  course, — sun 
and  climate  make  any  place  lovely,  &  thus  all  the 
praises  of  this  far-famed  place  I  believe  savour  of 
picnics,  &c.,  &c.  However  I  have  seen  but  little 
of  it  so  I  will  not  go  on,  but  lest  you  think  ennui 
or  illness  disgust  me  let  me  say,  that  Thebes  & 
Athens  shed  a  memory  of  divinest  beauty  over  much 
worse  and  more  tedious  sufferings  than  those  I  have 
endured  here,  which  indeed  are  nought  but  weariness 
now. 

What  to  do,  my  Dear  Fortescue  when  I  return 
to  England ! !  ?  ?  <; — <?  j !  (expressive  of  indelible  doubt, 
wonder,  &  ignorance.)  London  must  be  the  place, 
&  then  comes  the  choice  of  two  lines ;  society,  & 
half  days  work,  pretty  pictures,  petitmaitre  praise 
boundless,  frequented  studio  &c.,  &c.  wound  up 
with  vexation  of  spirit  as  age  comes  on  that  talents 
have  been  thrown  away  : — or  hard  study  beginning 
at  the  root  of  the  matter,  the  human  figure,  which 

13 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

to  master  alone  would  enable  me  to  carry  out  the 
views  &  feelings  of  landscape  I  know  to  exist  within 
me.  Alas !  if  real  art  is  a  student,  I  know  no  more 
than  a  child,  an  infant,  a  foetus.  How  could  I.  I 
have  had  myself  to  thank  for  all  education,  &  a 
vortex  of  society  hath  eaten  my  time.  So  you  see  I 
must  choose  one  or  other — &  with  my  many  friends 
it  will  go  hard  at  36  to  retire — please  God  I  live  for 
8  or  10  years — but — if  I  did — wouldn't  the  "  Lears" 
sell  in  your  grandchildrens  time  ! — But  enough  of  this, 
and  self.  Grandchildren  make  me  think  of  Baring's 
marriage,1  which  I  am  so  really  glad  to  hear  of  & 
shall  write  to  him  by  this  post.  That  good-natured 
fellow  wrote  to  me  from  England,  which  I  wonder 
anyone  does  so  busy  as  you  all  must  be  there.  I 
sincerely  wish  him  a  long  career  of  happiness.  But 
I  trust  you  will  soon  follow  his  example  &  I  keep 
on  expecting  of  it. 

A  year  later  finds  Lear  in  England,  paying 
visits  to  various  friends,  and  meeting  again 
Lord  Derby,  who  had  been  his  patron  from 
the  first.  "The  admirable  quality  of  Lear's 
work  for  the  Zoological  Society  had  won  him 
the  close  friendship  and  the  generous 
patronage  of  the  thirteenth  Earl  of  Derby, 
for  whom  he  drew  the  beautiful  illustrations 
of  that  now  rare  volume  '  The  Knowsley 

1  Baring's  marriage  to  Miss  Sturt  took  place  in  September. 

14 


Rome,  Greece,  and  England 

Menagerie.'  "  Thus  says  his  friend  and 
executor,  Franklin  Lushington,  in  his  preface 
to  the  "  Poems  by  Alfred  Lord  Tennyson," 
illustrated  by  Edward  Lear,  and  brought  out 
after  his  death,  by  Lord  Tennyson,  as  a  tribute 
to  his  memory. 

TABLEY  HOUSE,  KNUTSFORD, 

i  August,  1849. 

On  leaving  town  I  came  to  the  James  Hornby's  l 
at  Winwick,  &  then  migrated  with  them  to 
Knowsley.  After  a  week  at  each  place  and  a  day 
or  two  about  Manchester,  I  came  for  4  days  to 
Tatton's  of  Wythenshawe  and  now  am  here  for 
as  many  more.  .  .  . 

Now  all  this  time  I  have  been  living  in  a  constant 
state  of  happiness.  My  dear  old  friends  Mr.  Hornby 
&  Lord  Derby  I  found  just  as  ever,  though  72  &  75 
and  every  day  has  caused  fresh  shaking  of  hands 
with  old  friends.  Certainly  English  people  do  go 
on  with  friendship  just  where  they  left  off,  as  you 
go  on  with  a  book  at  the  page  you  last  read.  So 
you  see,  barring  the  queer  climate  I  have  been 
intensely  happy,  &  if  one  were  morbidly  inclined, 
one  would  think  that  like  Dives  one  was  enjoying 
all  one's  good  things  here  below.  This  place  is 
one  of  the  very  nice  dwellings  in  this  land,  the  old 
house  &  the  church  &  the  lake  are  a  perfect  picture. 
So  was  old  Elizabethan  Wythenshawe,  &  at  Winwick 

2  J.  Hornby  of  Winwick,  brother-in-law  of  Lord  Derby. 

15 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

and  dear  old  Knowsley  there  was  a  lot  of  sunshine 
quite  vavacious  to  feel.  Immense  fun  we  have 
had,  one  has  done  little  but  laugh,  eat,  drink, 
&  sleep.  .  .  . 

I  trust  to  get  through  14  or  15  visits  out  of  my  68. 
Willingly  would  I  an  your  house  were  one : — but  I 
must  be  back  in  town  by  2Oth  Sept.  at  latest,  (then 
comes  furnishing  &  fidgetting  &  fussing,)  after  that 
hard  real  work.  Did  I  tell  you  I  had  finally  settled 
on  taking  17,  Stratford  Place?1  signed  sealed  and 
delivered,  O!  yes.  How  I  hope  you  will  come  very 
often  to  look  yourself  into  other  lands. 

What  do  you  think  of  my  having  nearly,  all  but 
become  possessor  of  40  or  50,000^  ?  Fact,  I  assure 
you,  it  makes  me  laugh  to  think  what  I  could  possibly 
have  done  with  such  a  statistic  heap  of  ore!  How- 
ever, I  have  never  it  seems  been  attentive  enough  to 
the  old  Lady2  who  always  said  she  would  enrich  me, 
so  she  has  died  and  left  all  to  30  poor  widows  for 
ever  &  ever,  and  much  better  too  that  she  has  left  it 
thus,  for  I  should  not  have  made  as  good  use  of  it. 
I  thought  directly  I  heard  of  this  matter  that  I  would 
instantly  marry  one  of  the  30  viddies,  only  then  it 
occurred  to  me  that  she  would  not  be  a  viddy  any 
more  if  I  married  her. 

1  "Stratford  Place,"  now  Lear's  headquarters  when  in  England 
for  some  years.     He  had  several  "  shows"  of  pictures  both  at  17 
and  later  at  No.  15. 

2  I  cannot  trace  this  old  lady,  but  she  was  not  a  relation,  I 
fancy,  for  I  believe  he  had  no  relations  outside  his  own  brothers 
and  sisters,  few  of  whom  were  still  living  at  this  time. 

16 


Rome,  Greece,  and  England 

LYDFORD,  NEAR  BRIDESTOW,  DEVON, 

July  19,  1851. 

Enter  MARY. 

"  Mary,  has  the  boy  come  back  from  the  Post  with 
the  letters  yet  ?  " 

"  Noa  zur,  hiss  be  drewndid  !  " 
"  He's  what  Mary  ? " 

"  Hiss  be  drewndid  zur  in  the  pewerfil  rain." 
"  Well,  it  certainly  does  rain  Mary  but  I  hope  he 
aint  drowned,  for  all  that." 

Exit  MARY. 


Re-enter  MARY. 

"Here  be  tew  litters  zur: — the  boy  is  all  queet 
drewndid  zur  as  ever  you  see ! " 

Upon  which  I  took  up  one,  and  you  having  been  in 
my  thoughts  during  this  very  morning,  says  I,  how 
odd,  it's  Fortescue's  writing! 

Upon  which  I  opened  it. 

Upon  which  I  found  it  was  from  Mr.  Gladstone. 

Upon  which  I  said,  Pish ! 

Upon  which  I  took  up  letter  No.  2. 

Upon  which  I  found  that  was  really  yours. 

Upon  which  I  took  this  paper  and  began, 

Dear  Fortescue, — I  was  very  glad  to  find  you  were 
pleased  with  the  painting,  for  I  have  taken  long  and 
great  trouble  about  it,  all  my  artist  friends  say  I  have 
made  an  enormous  stride,  so  I  hope  to  go  on,  but  only 
by  the  same  road,  i.e.,  constant  study  and  perseverance. 
You  suppose  rightly  that  I  felt  Lord  Derby's  death ;  I 

17  c 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

have  not  felt  anything  so  much  for  many  many  years : — 
22  years  ago  I  first  went  to  Knowsley,  &  have  received 
nothing  but  kindness  from  him  &  his  family  ever  since, 
so  it  is  no  great  wonder  his  death  should  cause  me 
sorrow.  The  painting1  belongs  to  the  present  Earl, 
who  will  kindly  allow  me  to  have  it  for  some  time  yet. 
Overworked  and  unwell  &  unable  to  bear  the  dis- 
quiet of  London,  I  came  at  once  to  this  very  out  of 
the  way  place,  as,  to  get  away  at  all,  I  was  obliged  to 
select  a  deadly  cheap  place,  since  while  here  I  have  to 
pay  for  17,  Stratford  Place,  also.  I  shall  remain  here 
and  hereabouts,  a  tour  in  Cornwall  with  Lushington  2 
etc.  till  nearly  November. 

Genus  homo!  I  aint.  I'm  a  landscape  painter,  &  I 
desire  you  to  like  me  as  sich,  or  not  at  all : — if  I  grow 
worse  in  my  professional  power,  be  sure  I  shall  worsen 
in  all  ways  : — Lord  how  it  does  rain  !  It  always  does 
here,  but  that's  nothing,  for  I  have  a  house  full  of 
books,  &  I've  got  a  little  bedroom  and  a  small  parlor, 
&  a  big  loft  made  into  a  study  (which  would  be  pleasant 
if  the  cats  didn't  bumble  into  it  every  5  minutes). 
And  all  that  costs  55.  a  week : — &  I  have  3  meals  of 
food  daily  for  is.  6d.,  and  I'm  finishing  some  water- 
coloured  drawings  by  degrees,  and  arranging  in  my 
mind  some  paintings  for  the  winter.  There's  only  a 
curate  as  lives  opposite,  &  keeps  bees : — all  the  rest 

1  Lord  Derby  died  on  June  13,  1851. 

*  Franklin  Lushington,  another  intimate  friend  and  patron  of 
Lear  and  his  executor  after  his  death.  He  was  one  of  the  two 
Justices  in  Corfu  when  Lear  first  went  to  reside  there. 

18 


Rome,  Greece,  and  England 

of  the  village  is  miners,  which  reside  underground. 
On  Sunday  I  go  to  church,  when  there  is  a  congrega- 
tion of  7  or  i  o  and  a  tipsy  clerk.  O !  beloved  clerk  ! 
who  reads  the  psalms  enough  to  make  you  go  into  fits. 
He  said  last  Sunday,  "  As  white  as  an  old  salmon," 
(instead  of  white  as  snow  in  Salmon),  "  A  lion  to  my 
mothers  children  "  (for  alien)  &  they  are  not  guinea 
pigs,  instead  of — guiltless !  Fact : — but  I  grieve  to  say 
he's  turned  out  for  the  same,  &  will  never  more  please 
my  foolish  ears. 
,  I  suppose  you  never  come  into  Devonshire  ? 

Lord !  how  it  rains ! 

I  have  forsworn  by  this  provincial  step  of  mine  all 
the  luxuries  &  niceties  of  the  year,  to  wit,  cherries  & 
all  fruit,  wine,  &  a  number  of  other  necessaries  of  life. 
We  primitive  Christians  of  Lydford  have  thrown  off 
such  fopperies. 

Please  recommend  all  the  Grand  Jury  to  buy  my 
'  Journal  of  a  Landscape  painter.' I  What  are  you 
doing  with  a  Grand  Jury? 

Where  are  you  going  this  summer  ?  O  Lord  !  how 
it  keeps  raining ! 

Every  post  brings  heaps  of  dinner  &  evening  invita- 
tions. I  think  myself  well  off  to  be  able  to  decline 
them  at  id.  a  piece.  Now  I  must  go  back  to  my 
drawing  of  Syracuse,  which  thank  goodness,  is  nearly 
done. 

1  This  was  the  "  Journal  of  a  Landscape  Painter  in  Albania," 
published  in  1851 ;  the  companion  Volume  in  Calabria  was 
published  in  1852. 

'9 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

LYDFORD,  NEAR  BRIDESTOW,  DEVON, 

26  August,  1851. 

I  have  only  just  returned  here,  from  a  ramble  in 
Cornwall,  (not  Simeon  but  the  county,1)  and  among  a 
heap  of  letters,  one  from  you,  shall  be  answered  first 
of  all,  barring  sister  Ann2  &  R.  Hornby. 

You  do  perfectly  well  to  project  all  your  uncom- 
fortablenesses  into  my  ear  &  buzzim  at  all  times,  for 
I  can  sympathize  with  you  most  perfectly,  though  I 
can  do  nothing  else.  Lord,  how  I  wish  I  was  a 
sucking  Socrates  like  some  men  I  know,  wouldn't 
you  have  5  sheets  of  advice !  But  as  I  aint  I  may  as 
well  say  that  there  is  nothing  of  which  I  have  so 
distinct  a  recollection  as  the  fearful  gnawing  sensation 
which  chills  &  destroys  one,  on  leaving  scenes  & 
persons,  for  which  &  whom  there  are  no  substitutes  till 
their  memory  is  a  bit  worn  down.  I  say,  there  is 
nothing  I  so  distinctly  remember,  because  those  feeling 
are  with  me  already  taking  the  form  of  past  matters, 
never  again  to  recur,  like  cutting  ones  teeth,  measles 
&c.  Not  that  one  has  actually  outlived  the  possibility 
of  their  repetition,  but  rather,  I  prevent  them  by  keep- 
ing them  at  arm's  length  : — I  wont  like  anybody  else, 
if  I  can  help  it,  I  mean,  any  new  person,  or  scenes,  or 
place,  all  the  rest  of  my  short  foolish  life.  But  the 
vacuum  which  you  describe  I  used  to  suffer  from 
intensely,  &  can  quite  feel  for  you.  Yet  you,  it 
appears  to  me,  might  put  an  end  to  all  chance  of  such 

1  Cornwall  Simeon,  his  friend,  son  of  Sir  R.  G.  Simeon. 

2  His  eldest  sister,-,  who  had  been  a  mother  to  him,  she  being 
the  eldest  and  he  the  youngest  of  a  family  of  twenty-one  children. 

20 


SULI. 

(From  Lear's  "  Journal  of  a  Landscape   Painter  in  Albania 
and  Illyria"  1851 ) 


Rome,  Greece,  and  England 

blacknesses,  by  asking  any  young  (or  old  if  you  prefer) 
Lady  to  marry  you,  which  if  you  asked  her  she 
instantly  would,  whereas  if  /  asked  any,  she  instantly 
wouldn't.  Well,  I  suppose  you  will  one  day  :  but  I 
shall  be  in  a  horrid  way  till  I  see  her,  because  as  you 
are  of  the  sensitive  order,  you  will  either  be  very 
happy  or  you  won't. 

I  shall  not  allow  you  to  be  deceived  into  the  idea, 
that  I  am  perfectly  tranquil  &  happy  here  : — quite  the 
contrary.  There  is  only  one  fine  day  out  of  15,  & 
all  the  rest  are  beyond  expression  demoralizing  & 
filthy.  My  "straitened  circumstances"  forbid  moving 
now  I  am  here,  and  besides,  I  hate  giving  up  a  thing 
when  I  try  it,  &  having  declared  I  would  paint  the 
Glen  scene,  I  will,  I'll  stay  till  I  do.  I  would  not  so 
much  care  for  the  wet,  as  for  being  obliged  when  it  is 
wet,  to  look  at  a  dead  wall  and  a  rubbish  heap  opposite, 
and  to  see  nothing  all  day  but  27  pigs,  &  18  cows. 
Experience  teaches,  and  a  village  summer  in  Italy  is 
another  thing  to  this.  ...  I  have  faithfully  promised 
to  pass  some  days  with  C.  Church  near  Ilchester 
before  I  return  : — these  things,  with  the  vain  and 
frustrated  attempts  to  get  some  studies  of  weeds  and 
rox  fill  up  my  beastly  Autumn,  and  send  me  back 
again  to  Stratford  Place. 

I  don't  improve  as  I  wish,  which  added  to  the  rain, 
and  the  view,  prevents  "happiness  and  tranquillity."  It 
is  true  I  don't  expect  to  improve,  because  I  am  aware 
of  my  peculiar  incapacities  for  art,  mental  &  physical  : 
— but  that  don't  mend  the  matter,  anymore  than  the 

21 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

knowledge  that  he  is  to  be  always  blind  delights  a  man 
whose  eye  is  poked  out.  The  great  secret  of  my 
constant  hard  work  is,  to  prevent  my  going  back,  or 
at  best  standing  quite  still.  I  certainly  did  improve 
last  year  a  little,  but  I  aint  sure  if  Lydford  and  the 
rain  and  the  cows  won't  have  made  me  go  back  this 
year.  However  I  did  it  all  for  the  best,  as  the  old 
sow  said  when  she  sat  on  her  little  pigs.  .  .  . 

Bowen  I  must  write  to  again,  he  wrote  since  I 
last  did  so  to  you,  &  I  answered  him.  He  is  very 
good-natured,  though  as  you  say  his  rhinoceros-like 
insensibility  to  the  small  annoyances  he  deals  out, 
would  aggravate  me.  He  is  going  to  review  my 
Albania  he  says, — Bye  the  bye,  I  should  think  that 
little  book  has  had  as  much  good  said  of  it  as  any  ever 
have.  I  dare  say  you  saw  the  Athenczum  &c.,  & 
Taifs  Magazine  for  this  month.  I  wish  I  may  get 
something  for  all  this.  When  I  return  to  town  I  shall 
join  a  nightly  Academy  for  drawing  from  the  life  : — • 
thus  you  see  showing  you  that  I  believe  hard  work  is 
the  best  substitute  for  the  Ideal.  I  shall  try  also  to  set 
about  sundry  big  landscapes.  But  I  will  paint  this  glen, 
for  all  the  rain  and  cows,  if  I  stay  here  All  my  life. 

0  Lord !  Lord !  it  is  such  a  beastly  place !  !  !  !  !  ! 

1  can  go  on  no  more.     It  makes  me  almost  cry  to 
think  of  what  I  suffer.     So  I'll  read  King  Arthur. 

Write  please.  1  wish  I  could  see  you,  but  I  think 
you'd  like  me  better  where  I  am  just  now.  I'm  so 
savage. 

Alfred  Tennyson  has  gone  to  Italy. 

22 


Rome,  Greece,  and  England 

On  his  return  to  London,  Lear  joined  the 
Academy  schools,  as  the  following  letter  and 
pictures  will  show : — 


n 


'  - 


A 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 


Rome,  Greece,  and  England 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

HASTINGS  (vulgarly  'astins),  SUSSEX, 

Jany.  23,  1853. 

You  know  all  about  how  my  front  room  ceiling  fell 
down  last  July.  Well — after  a  very  regular  appli- 
cation here  I  completed  3  paintings — Venosa,  Reggio, 
and  Thermopylae — all  3  far  the  best  I  ever  didded 
(or  dod).  On  the  6th.  Jany. — having  written  before- 
hand to  put  my  rooms  right,  I  went  up  to  town  : 
anyhow,  my  time  would  be  up  at  Stratford  place  at 
the  half-quarter,  so  I  was  prepared  to  go  on  with  a 
search  for  lodgings,  you  have  heard  me  speak  enough 
against  the  darkness  of  those  I  lived  in.  But  lo! 
when  I  arrived  the  horrid  fact  was  announced  to  me 
that  that  very  morning  all  the  back  room  ceiling  had 
fallen! 

"  Is  there  confusion  in  the  little  room  ?  "  (said  I  to 
myself  when  I  saw  it).  "  Let  what  is  broken  so 
remain ! " 

It  was  indeed  high  time  to  quit  the  stage  of 
Stratford  Place,  so  I  instantly  packed  up — no  slight 
operation  with  my  immence  lot  of  drawings  and  boox 
— and  as  instantly  rushed  all  over  North  West 
London  for  lodgings.  At  length  I  fixed  on  a  house 
which  Hansen  has  taken  for  himself,  and  where  I 
have  taken  2  floors  for  i  year — at  65,  Oxford  Terrace, 
Hyde  Park. 

I  could  not,  of  course,  stay  in  the  Stratford  Place 
aboad  after  the  fall  of  Paris  No.  2.,  nor  can  I 
get  into  the  Oxfd  Terrace  till  Feby.  10 — so  I  had 
nothing  to  do  but  come  down  here  again — where  at 

26 


Rome,  Greece,  and  England 

least  there  are  fresh  air,  and  muffins.  I  must  tell  you 
what  you  will  be  very  glad  to  hear  :  wizz  :  that  my 
large  Parnussus  is  bought  by  the  new  Slissiter 
General — my  old  and  kind  friend,  Mr.  Bethell  (Sir 
Richard  to  be  shortly).1  It  will  be  capitally  placed 
and  well  seen — a  futuer  wh  :  compensates  for  my  not 
having  got  so  much  for  it  as  I  axd.  Wots  the  hods 
so  long  as  ones  appy? 

I  am  now  doing  a  huge  picture  of  Syracuse 
Quarries  ;  £  starved  Athenians  judiciously  introduced 
here  and  there.  Since  August  I  have  been,  as  I  told 
you,  painting  on  an  oly  different  principle,  and  so 
far  with  gt.  success  :  I  hope  the  Thermopylae  will  be 
hung  in  the  Brit :  Institution. 

If  you  come  up  to  town  before  the  lot  let  me 
know — might  you  not  rush  down  to  dine  here  with 
me  by  a  5  p.m.  train  on  Saturday  and  stay  all 
Sunday?  I  now  could  give  you  a  bed — as  the 
cucumber  bed  is  too  cold,  and  I  have  got  a  spare 
room.  Do  you  know  I  have  cut  2  new  teeth?  It 
was  supposed  I  was  ill  of  the  mumps — whereas  it 
was  dentifery.  I  impute  all  my  health,  and  sperrits, 
and  improved  art  and  sense  herefrom  to  the  arrival  of 
these  2  teeth. 

My  sale  of  Parnussus,  just  enables  me  to  pay  part 
of  the  annual  bills  off,  and  to  begin  decently  at  Oxfd 
Terrace.  Like  a  nass  I  gave  away  all  I  could,  so  as 
usual  have  none  over  to  spare.  One  of  my  sisters  is 

1  Afterwards  first  Baron  Westbury.  Became  Lord  Chancellor 
1861. 

27 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

horridly  poor,  and  another  is  going  with  all  her  child" 
and  grandchild"  to  N.  Zealand,  and  another  wants 
some  port  wine  being  ill,  and  so  on.  But  the  fact  is,  I 
only  wish  for  money  to  give  it  away,  and  there's  lots 
to  be  done  with  it  here  if  people  wouldn't  be  above 
looking  at  what  they  should  do,  and  wouldn't  keep 
fussing  about  those  fooly  blacks. 

I've  been  reading  Brooke's  "  Borneo  "  lately.  What 
do  you  think  of  a  society  for  clothing  and  educating 
by  degrees  the  Orang  outangs? 

The  more  I  read  travels,  the  more  I  want  to  move. 
Such  heaps  of  N.  Zealand  as  I  have  read  of  late  !  I 
know  every  corner  of  the  place — ditto  V.  D.  land — 
ditto  N.  Holland.  Will  you  go  there  ?  Will  you  go 
to  the  Lake  Tchad  ?  Someday  though,  if  I  can't 
scrape  up  money  to  go  up  the  Nile,  I  think  I  shall 
ask  you  to  take  me  there.  I  should  like  to  go  up 
there  for  3  or  4  months  well  enough. 

Have  you  ever  read  "Calabria"  yet?  If  you 
haven't  do  get  it  and  recommend  it  astuciously  to 
heaps  of  Dukes  and  Dsses.  :  it  will  do  them  good, 
and  me  too. 

In  town  I  saw  hardly  anyone — as  you  may  suppose 
from  my  cadent  ceiling  and  its  sequences.  The 
Bethells — my  sisters  &c.,  and  A.,  and  o!  Mrs  A. 
How  frigid  that  icie  ladye  was  no  Polar  or  N.  Zemb- 
lan  tongue  can  tell !  Not  to  me  though — for  she  is 
always  very  good  natured  to  me — but  to  all  things  in 
heaven  and  earth  generally.  By  jingo  !  it's  too  dread- 
ful to  me  that  awful  indifference !  Yet  they  seem 

28 


Rome,  Greece,  and  England 

happy  together.  No,  my  dear  Fortescue,  /  don't 
mean  to  marry — never.  You  should,  but  there's  time 
enough  yet  for  you — 6  or  8  years  perhaps.  In  my 
case  I  should  paint  less  and  less  well,  and  the  thought 
of  annual  infants  would  drive  me  wild.  If  I  attain  to 
65,  and  have  an  "  establishm1 "  with  lots  of  spoons 
&c.  to  offer — I  may  chain  myself: — but  surely  not 
before.  And  alas !  and  seriously — when  I  look 
around  my  acquaintance — and  few  men  have  more, 
or  know  more  intimately,  do  I  see  a  majority  of 
happy  pairs  ?  No,  I  don't.  Single — I  may  have  few 
pleasures — but  married — many  risks  and  miseries  are 
semi-certainly  in  waiting — nor  till  the  plot  is  played 
out  can  it  be  said  that  evils  are  not  at  hand.  You 
say  you  are  30,  but  I  believe  you  are  ever  so  much 
more.  As  for  me  I  am  40 — and  some  months :  by 
the  time  I  am  42  I  shall  regard  the  matter  with  42de 
I  hope. 

In  one  sense,  I  am  growing  very  indifferent  to  the 
running  out  of  the  sands  of  life.  Years  are  making 
me  see  matters  with  totally  different  eyes  than  I 
formerly  saw  with  : — but  at  the  same  time  I  am  far 
more  cheerful.  I  only  wish  I  could  dub  and  scrub 
myself  into  what  I  wish  to  be,  and  what  I  might  be  I 
fear  if  I  took  proper  pains.  But  chi  sa  ?  How  much 
will  be  allowed  for  nature,  and  early  impressions,  and 
iron  early  tuition  ?  Looking  back,  I  sometimes 
wonder  I  am  even  what  I  am.  I  often  wonder  and 
wonder  how  I  have  made  so  many  certainly  real 
friends  as  I  have.  Sometimes  6  or  8  of  the  kindest 

29 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

letters  in  the  world  come  together,  and  the  effect  is 
rather  humiliating  tho'  not  to  my  peculiar  idiosyn- 
cracy. 

I  hope  to  go  to  Reigate  to  see  Ld.  Somers.1  He 
is  a  great  favourite  of  mine,  from  my  knowledge  of 
many  excellent  points  of  his  character,  from  our 
having  many  sympathies  in  common,  and  from  our 
looking  at  many  present-day  matters  with  similar 
views.  She  is  a  most  sweet  creature.  I  think  her 
expression  of  countenance  is  one  of  the  most  unmiti- 
gated goodness  I  ever  contemplated.  I  call  that  a  model 
of  a  woman.  Bother  :  I  wish  they  wern't  Earls  and 
Countesses — though  I  don't  much  care — for  I've  been 
so  rummy  independent  all  my  life  that  nobody  thinks 
le  ver  like  rank  for  ranks'  sake  I  should  think. 

I  don't  understand  the  Gladstone  question — only  as 
I  detest  the  bigotry  of  Denison  and  Bennett, — so  I 
suppose  G.  has  a  shade  less  of  it.2  Ma  non  troppo 
me  ne  fido  anche  a  lui. 

But  I  grant  your  present  Govt.  are  the  best  lot  of 
workers  we  have  had  for  a  long  time  yet,  and  I  do 
not  see  why  Conservatives  should  be  growled  at  if 
they  advocate  moderate  reforms, — without  which  a 

1  Formerly  Lord   Eastnor ;    succeeded   to  the   earldom   in 
1852,  husband  of    the  beautiful  Virginia   Pattle  (one  of    the 
loveliest  women  of  her  time),  himself  a  man  of  great  culture 
and  artistic  perception. 

2  After  the  defeat  of  Lord  Derby's  Ministry,  Mr.  Gladstone 
became  very  unpopular  with  the  Conservative  party,  and  was 
violently  attacked  by  Archdeacon  Denison  and  others,  who  said 
that  the  University  of  Oxford  which  Mr.  Gladstone  had  been 
elected  to  represent,  could  place  no  more  confidence  in  him. 

30 


Rome,  Greece,  and  England 

blind  man  may  see  that  nothing  will  be  conserved  at 
all  very  shortly.  O  mi  little  i's  and  pegtops !  how 
it  do  rain  and  bio ! 

Will  you  give  my  compliments  and  remembrances 
to  Ld  and  Ldy  Clermont.1 

1  Lord  Clermont  was  the  elder  brother  of  Fortescue,  and  had 
married  a  daughter  of  the  Marquis  of  Ormond. 


CHAPTER   II 
1856  and  1857 

CORFtJ   AND   ENGLAND 

HP  H  REE  years  later  we  find  Lear  settled 
•*•  at  Corfu,  then  under  British  protec- 
tion, and  he  remained  there  at  intervals  until 
the  cession  of  the  Ionian  Isles  to  Greece  in 
1864.  The  light  thrown  by  his  letters  on  a 
little-known  chapter  of  our  foreign  policy 
gives  them  an  additional  interest.  In  1854 
Lear  had  gone  to  Egypt  and  Switzerland,  and 
in  1855  again  to  Corfu,  but  I  unfortunately 
have  failed  to  find  any  letters  of  those  years. 
The  long  gap  between  the  following  letters 
and  the  last  one  quoted  may  be  partly  accounted 
for,  by  the  fact  that  several  written  by  him  in 
the  interim  never  reached  Fortescue  at  all. 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

CORFU,  19  Febry.,  1856. 

It  seems  we  were  a  writing  to  each  other  pretty 
nearly  at  the  same  time,  for  yours  which  I  was  truly 

32 


Corfii  and  England 

thankful  for,  is  dated  Jan.  6th  and  I  sent  mine  off  to 
you  on  the  6th.  But  the  letters  were  different,  mine 
I  fear  me  was  so  glumy  that  you  might  have  been 
uncomfortable  about  me  ever  since,  notwithstanding 
my  growlygrumbleraroe  (most),  known  nature,  and 
therefore  and  wherefore,  I  shall  send  you  this,  though 
it  will  not  be  a  long  letter,  rather  than  not  write  at  all, 
for  the  days  are  so  full  of  occupation  that  I  vainly  try 
for  leisure.  Up  at  6,  Greek  master  from  6|  to  7f. 
Breakfast  &c.,  to  9,  then  work  till  4,  or  sketching  out 
of  doors,  and  either  dining  out  or  at  home  with 
writing  and  drawing  fill  up  my  hours.  First,  I  wish 
you  a  happy  new  Year,  &  continually,  if  I  didn't  do 
so  before.  At  all  events  I  wish  you  a  lot  of  happy 
new  Leap-years. 

I  still  think  of  making  Corfu  my  head-quarters,  & 
of  painting  a  large  picture  here  of  the  Ascension  festa 
in  June,  for  1857  Exhibition,  &  of  going  over  to 
Yannina  and  all  sorts  of  Albanian  abstractions. 

I  hope  to  send  your  drawing  soon,  together  with 
Sir  John  Simeon's  &  Mr.  dive's  pictures.  The  reason 
I  did  not  send  the  fellow  to  your  "Morn  broadens"1 
was  because  I  could  not  satisfy  myself  at  all  as  to  the 
quality  of  the  one  I  began.  Yours  is  so  finished  a 
picture  that  I  should  not  like  a  less  good  one  by  its 
side. 

Do  you  know  there  has  been  literally  no  winter 
here  ;  they  say  it  is  27  years  since  there  was  so  little 

1  "  Morn  broadens  on  the  borders  of  the  dark/7  a  beautiful 
oil  belonging  to  Fortescue. 

33  D 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

cold,  &  still  some  think  we  shall  have  a  touch  of 
rigour  in  March : — in  fact,  I  have  scarcely  any  Asthma, 
&  no  symptom  of  Bronchitis  at  all.  When  I  get  a 
house,  you  must  come  out  and  have  a  run,  &  I'll  put 
you  up :  I'll  feed  you  with  Olives  &  wild  pig,  and 
we'll  start  off  to  Mount  Athos.  Bowen  his  marriage  I 
takes  place  at  the  end  of  April.  The  Balls  are  all 
over  now  &  gaiety  generally,  dinners  excepted,  though 
I  am  going  to  soon  back  out  of  all,  by  dining  early. 
The  not  being  able  to  get  any  properly  lighted 
painting  room  annoys  me  horribly,  and  I  confess  still 
to  being  at  times  very  lowspirited  and  depressed,  but 
not  so  much  as  before. 

You  cannot  tell  me  news  of  the  Millais :  the  blind 
girl  picture2  was  begun  when  we  were  together  in 
Sussex.  W.  Holman  Hunt  has  just  come  back,  & 
Mr.  Tennyson  3  writes  is  going  there.  I  wish  he  was 
here — The  sort  of  lonely  feeling  of  having  no  one  who 
can  sympathyze  professionally  with  one's  goings  on,  is 
very  odious  at  times.  Lushington  would  more  or  less, 
but  his  work  is  tremendously  heavy,  &  when  he  gets 
any  leisure,  he  rides  or  yachts,  or  shoots,  all  out  of  the 
way  sports  for  me,  except  the  former ;  I  did  ride  all 
last  Saturday  for  a  wonder,  &  wish  I  had  tin  to  keep  a 

1  He  married  a  Greek,  daughter  of  Roma,  who  was  appointed 
Vice-Go vernor  of  Ithaca  in  1858.     Her  brother  married  a  sister 
of  the  Queen  of  Montenegro. 

2  Now  in  the  Birmingham  Art  Gallery. 

3  Tennyson  became  a  great  friend  of  Lear's,  who  often  stayed 
with  him  when  in  England.      One  of  his  poems  is  dedicated 
"  To  E.  L.,  on  his  travels  in  Greece." 

34 


horse.  Have  you  any  message  to  Lady  Emily 
Ko^rj/otc?1  The  Lord  High  C.2  &  Lady  Young  are 
very  good-natured,  but  I  don't  take  to  Court  life,  and 
not  playing  cards  am  doubtless  a  bore,  or  rather  useless. 
But  I  suppose  they  are  good  people.  There  are  really 
some  very  nice  people  here  among  the  Militia  Officers 
— Ormsbys,  Harringtons,  Powers,  &c.  &c.,  and  their 
going  would  aggravate  them  as  stays  behind.  I  am 
painting  "And  I  shall  see  before  I  die  the  palms  and 
temples  of  the  south,"  for  Sir  John  Simeon,  being 
Phils  by  sunset,  3 — but  my  eyes  give  me  a  good  deal 
of  trouble,  and  I  don't  know  how  they  will  bear  the 
summer. 

The  following  letter  from  Fortescue,  con- 
taining an  early  reference  to  the  celebrated  Lady 
Waldegrave,  may  be  of  interest.  Frances, 
widow  of  George,  seventh  Earl  Walde- 
grave, was  at  this  time  the  wife  of  George 
Harcourt,  of  Nuneham.  She  was  the  daughter 
of  the  greatest  of  English  tenors,  John  Braham, 
who  in  his  time  carried  the  musical  world 
by  storm.  He  was  of  Jewish  descent,  a  man 
of  intense  personality  and  independence  of 
mind,  and  his  daughter  inherited  these  charac- 

1  Daughter  of  the  second  Earl  of  Clancarty  and  a  cousin  of 
Fortescue's.     She  married  Signer  Giovanni  Kozziris  in  1843. 

2  Sir  John  Young  was  appointed  Lord  High  Commissioner 
in  1855. 

3  A  replica  of  this  was  painted  for  Fortescue  this  year. 

35 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

• 

teristics  together  with  many  others,  which 
united  to  make  her  one  of  the  most  remarkable 
and  interesting  women  of  her  day.  She 
eventually  married  Fortescue :  he  had  been 
devoted  to  her  for  years,  and  it  was  one  of  the 
happiest  of  unions. 

Fortescue  to  Lear. 

RED  HOUSE,  ARDEE, 

17  Sept.  1856. 

.  .  .  During  the  latter  part  of  the  season  I  passed 
almost  every  Sunday  at  Strawberry  Hill,1  which  Lady 
Waldegrave  has  restored,  and  made  the  oddest  and 
prettiest  thing  you  ever  saw.  She  often  asks  after 
you  and  says  she  hopes  often  to  see  you  there.  I  am 
sure  you  would  like  it,  and  she  gets  a  charming  society 
around  her  there.  She  did  not  go  out  last  season 
at  all  on  account  of  her  father's  death.  Charles 
Braham  2  sang  two  or  three  times  at  the  Haymarket 
opera  with  Wagner  and  Piccolomini.  He  was  dread- 
fully nervous,  but  I  am  in  great  hopes  will  do  well. 
...  I  was  at  a  great  Nuneham  party.  We  had  the 
D'Aumale's3  there,  and  very  likeable  Bourbons  they 
are.  .  .  . 

1  Strawberry  Hill,  Walpole's  historic  villa  at  Twickenham — 
during  the  sixties  and  seventies  the  resort  of   all  fashionable 
London. 

2  Brother  of  Lady  Waldegrave. 

3  The  Due  d'Aumale  was  the  fourth  son  of  Louis  Philippe, 
and  was  then  living  at  Orleans  House,  Twickenham,  to  which 
he  had  retired  after  the  revolution  of  1848. 

36 


FRANCES  COUNTESS  WALDEGRAVE,  ^KTAT.  29. 
From  a  coloured  lithograph  of  a  crayon  drawing  by  y.  A".  S-winto 


To  fact  page  j6. 


Corfii  and  England 

I  am  for  holding  hard  by  the  Ideals — and,  if  one 
set  go,  getting  another  ordered  as  soon  as  possible — 
as  we  do  our  coats  and  boots  when  they  wear  out. 
This  life  is  meant  to  be  a  life  of  ideals.     We  ought  to 
feel  like  children — and  live  on  ideas  of  the  future,  as 
children  do  of  the  time  when  they  will  be  "grown  up." 
This  is  a   cheerful  view — you  will  say — and   easier 
preached  than  practised.     True — I  often  "  reck  not 
my  own  rede " — and   I  could  give  you  a  reason  for 
this  view  of  things  at  this  moment  presenting  itself  to 
my  mind.     Nevertheless  it  is  true.    And,  if  we  cannot 
keep  hold  of  our  ideals,  Schiller  tells  us  of  two  com- 
panions which  never  forsook  him,  and  which  I  suppose 
would  console  and  soothe — though  I  think  there  are 
some  ideals  even  they  would  never  replace — Friend- 
ship and  Employment.     As  to  myself,  I  got  through 
the  Session  and  season  pretty  well.  ...   I  made  one 
Parliamentary  effort  of  some  importance  in  defence  of 
the  [ Irish   system   of    National    Education,    which    I 
believe  to  be  a  just  one  and  doing  great  good.     I  had 
a  very   nice  letter   from   your  amiable    Lord    High 
.Commissioner,  congratulating  me  on   my  speech  on 
that  occasion.     Touching  you,  he  speaks  thus  : — "  I 
ought  to  have  written  to  you  before  in  answer  to  your 
note  about  Lear.     We  have  found  him  a  most  agree- 
able person — and  a  great  addition  to  our  society,  and 
we  all  like  him  very  much — especially  Lady  Young, 
who  has  taken  to  sketching  with  great  ardour."     I 
have   always  liked   Sir   J.  Y. :  I   never  knew  much 
of  her  Ladyship. 

37 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 


QUARANTINE  ISLAND,  CORFU, 

9.  October,  1856. 

I  have  just  returned  from  a  2  month's  tour,  whereby 
I  have  seen  and  drawn  all  Mount  Athos,1  &  have 
seen  Troy,  slightly  and  whereby,  which  is  far  better, 
I  have  gained  a  great  amount  of  health  bodily  & 
mentle,  to  my  great  satisfaction  &  I  hope  thankful- 
ness, &  also  I  trust  to  the  benefit  obliquely  of  many  of 
my  felly  creatures  who  will  hereafter  peeroase  my 
jurnles,  and  admyermy  pigchers.  Among  a  heap  of  28 
letters  one  from  you  delights  my  soal :  date — R.  D.  2 
17.  Sept.  I  am  glad  you  are  so  merry  &  that  you  are 
enjoying  the  summer  so  much.  You  have  not  written 
to  me,  (you  nasty  brute !)  for  six  months.  I  wish  I 
could  see  Strawberry  Hill.  Have  you  seen  Alfred 
Seymour  3  since  he  came  back  ?  I  was  very  glad  of  your 
parliamentary  movement.4  I'm  not  for  holding  by 
the  "Ideals":  they've  bothered  me  all  my  life,  and  I 
now  mean  to  try  how  far  I  can  make  some  realities. 

1  Athos  was  his  magnum  opus. 

2  Lear's  way  of  writing  Ardee. 

3  Alfred  Seymour,  a  barrister,  younger  son  of  Henry  Seymour 
of  Knoyle  House.     Entered  Parliament  1863. 

*  On  the  iyth  of  June  Mr.  Walpole  moved  a  resolution  on 
the  subject  of  Education  in  Ireland,  which  was  carried  against 
the  Ministry,  but  Mr.  Fortescue  subsequently  moved  a  counter- 
resolution,  which,  after  a  considerable  discussion,  was  carried. 

38 


Corfti  and  England 

Nevertheless  a  letter  from  Mrs.  A.  Tennyson  tells  me 
that  Alfred  is  writing  away.  (I  saw  CEnone  on  the 
plains  of  Troy  :  she  had  a  pink  gown  on  :  one  arm 
and  one  breast  wholly  uncovered,  a  large  mole  upon 
the  latter  &  a  slight  moustache  on  her  upper  lip  : 
altogether  a  different  person  from  what  one  expected.) 

Sir  J.  Young's  notice  of  me  was  flattering,  tho' 
I  vow  I  was  never  agreeable  at  all.  Lady  Y.  is  a 
good-natured  lively  woman,  albeit  she  takes  no 
especial  part  such  as  her  position  might  warrant,  as 
to  schools  &c.  &c.  I  believe  seemingly  Sir  John  is 
an  amiable  well-meaning  man,  but  wholly  easy  & 
quite  in  the  hands  of  Bowen :  as  indeed  how  for  a 
time  can  it  be  otherwise,  since  in  so  short  a  time,  not 
even  Solomon  could  understand  these  Islands. 

Please  give  my  best  remembrances  &  compliments 
to  Lady  Waldegrave.  Her  conduct  to  her  father 
and  family  has  evidently  always  been  heart-action, 
and  everyone  respects  her  for  it,  as  being  like  unto 
what  very  few  dare  to  practise. 

I  trust  to  paint  a  magnificent  large  view  of  Corfu, 
straits,  and  Albanian  hills.  This  I  trust  to  sell  for 
500^  as  it  will  be  my  best,  and  is  9  feet  long.  If 
I  can't  sell  it  I  shall  instantly  begin  a  picture  10  feet 
long:  and  if  that  don't  sell,  one  12  feet  long.  Nothing 
like  persisting  in  virtue.  O  dear!  I  wish  I  was  up 
there,  in  the  village  I  mean,  nowr,  on  this  beautiful 
bright  day !  However  I  got  unwell,  &  bluedevilled, 
&  I  made  up  my  mind  that  I  could  work  no  more  till 
something  called  out  my  boddly  &  mentle  N.R.G.S. 

39 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

So  I  said,  I'll  go  to  Mt.  Athos  :  (I  should  have  gone 
to  M.  Negro  with  A.  Seymour  had  I  not  missed  the 
steamer).  And  off  I  set  on  Aug.  7th  taking  my 
servant,  canteen,  bed  &  lots  of  paper  &  Quinine  Pills. 
F.  Lushington  saw  me  as  far  as  QtXaOes,  but  then  I  fell 
down  a  high  flight  of  (19)  stone  stairs  &  damaged  my 
back  sadly.  I  thought  I  was  lame  for  life,  but  after  4 
days  on  a  mattress,  I  got  on  pillows  &  a  horse,  & 
went  over  to  Yannina  &  to  Pindus,  &  (in  great  pain) 
to  Larissa,  &  finally  to  Saloniki.  There  getting 
better  I  went  slick  into  To  "Aytog  "O/ooe  or  the  Holy 
Mountain,  altogether  the  most  surprising  thing  I  have 
seen  in  my  travels,  perhaps,  barring  Egypt.  It  is  a 
peninsular  mountain  about  2OOoft.  high  &  50  miles 
long  ending  in  a  vast  crag,  near  7000  feet  high,  this 
being  Athos.  All  but  this  bare  crag  is  one  mass  of 
vast  forest,  beech,  chestnut,  oak,  &  ilex,  and  all  round 
the  cliffs  and  crags  by  the  sea  are  20  great  and  ancient 
monistirries,  not  to  speak  of  6  or  700  little  'uns  above 
and  below  and  around.  These  convents  are  inhabited 
by,  altogether  perhaps,  6  or  7000  monx,  &  as  you 
may  have  heard,  no  female  creature  exists  in  all  the 
peninsula : — there  are  nothing  but  mules,  tomcats,  & 
cocks  allowed.  This  is  literally  true. 

Well,  I  had  a  great  deal  of  suffering  in  this  Athos, 
for  my  good  man  Giorgio  caught  the  fever,  &  nearly 
died,  &  when  he  grew  better  I  caught  it,  but  not  so 
badly.  However  I  persisted  &  persisted  &  finally 
I  got  drawings  of  every  one  of  the  20  big  monasteries, 
so  that  such  a  valuable  collection  is  hardly  to  be 

40 


TEMPE. 

(From  Lear's  "  Journal  of   a  Landscape  Painter  in  Albania 
and  Illyria" 


Corfu  and  England 

found.  Add  to  this,  constant  walking — 8  or  10  hours 
a  day — made  me  very  strong,  &  the  necessity  I  was 
under  of  acting  decidedly  in  some  cases,  called  out  a 
lot  of  energy  I  had  forgotten  ever  to  have  possessed. 
The  worst  was  the  food  &  the  filth,  which  were  uneasy 
to  bear.  But  however  wondrous  and  picturesque  the 
exterior  &  interior  of  the  monasteries,  &  however 
abundantly  &  exquisitely  glorious  &  stupendous  the 
scenery  of  the  mountain,  I  would  not  go  again  to  the 
"Aytoc  "O/H>C  for  any  money,  so  gloomy,  so  shockingly 
unnatural,  so  lonely,  so  lying,  so  unatonably  odious 
seems  to  me  all  the  atmosphere  of  such  monkery. 
That  half  of  our  species  which  it  is  natural  to  every 
man  to  cherish  &  love  best,  ignored,  prohibited  and 
abhorred — all  life  spent  in  everlasting  repetition  of 
monotonous  prayers,  no  sympathy  with  ones  fellow- 
beans  of  any  nation,  class  or  age.  The  name  of 
Christ  on  every  garment  and  at  every  tongue's  end, 
but  his  maxims  trodden  under  foot.  God's  world  and 
will  turned  upside  down,  maimed,  &  caricatured : — if 
this  I  say  be  Xtianity  let  Xtianity  be  rooted  out  as 
soon  as  possible.  More  pleasing  in  the  sight  of  the 
Almighty  I  really  believe,  &  more  like  what  Jesus 
Christ  intended  man  to  become,  is  an  honest  Turk 
with  6  wives,  or  a  Jew  working  hard  to  feed  his  little 
old  clo'  babbies,  than  these  muttering,  miserable, 
mutton-hating,  man-avoiding,  misogynic,  morose,  & 
merriment-marring,  monotoning,  many-mule-making, 
mocking,  mournful,  minced-fish  &  marmalade  masti- 
cating Monx.  Poor  old  pigs !  Yet  one  or  two  were 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

kind  enough  in  their  way,  dirty  as  they  were  :  but  it 
is  not  them,  it  is  their  system  I  rail  at. 

So  having  seen  all,  and  a  queer  page  in  my  world- 
nollidge  is  Athos! — I  came  back  to  Saloniki,  and 
set  sail  for  the  Dardanelles,  where  being  obliged  to 
stay  4  days  for  a  steamer,  I  spent  3  in  seeing  Troy. 
But  dear  Mother  Ida  L  could  not  reach,  &  I  do  trust 
to  go  there  in  the  spring  of  1857,  for  there  is  a  some- 
thing about  the  Troad  scenery  quite  unique, — if  it  be 
not  equalled  by  the  R.  Compagna  as  to  grand  and 
simple  outlines. 

Thence  I  came  by  sea  to  Corfu,  getting  here  on  the 
7th  &  being  thrust  into  this  place  till  Saturday  the 
nth  &  be  d d  to  the  owls  for  their  folly. 


Fortescue  to  Lear. 

RED  HOUSE,  ARDEE, 

()th  December  1856. 

...  I  am  delighted  to  hear  that,  while  you  abuse 
the  "  Ideal,"  you  are  growing  rapidly  into  the 
ideal  Edward  Lear — the  "  model  man."  Don't  you 
know  that  there  is  somewhere  or  other  an  ideal 
Edward  Lear — and  an  ideal  Chichester  Fortescue? 
There  we  are  arranged  in  some  Divine  Museum — 
probably  ticketed  to  avoid  mistakes :  the  question  is, 
how  like  the  actual  E.  L.  and  C.  F.  are  to  their  tg£'a. 
Do  you  think  we  should  know  ourselves  ?  Let  us  try 
— in  God's  name — to  grow  as  like  our  ideals  as  we 
can.  What  a  splendid  saying  that  is  "  till  we  all 

42 


Corfu  and  England 

come   to   the   Perfect  Man — to   the   measure  of  the 
stature  of  the  fulness  of  Christ."  .  .  . 

I  am  looking  forward  to  Tennyson's  book.  My 
temper  was  sorely  tried  the  other  day  by  old  Lady 
Ormonde  saying  that  "  she  wondered  how  an  old 
man  could  write  such  nonsense  as  Maud."  . 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

CORFU,  n.  January  1857. 

Let  me  see,  the  best  way  to  answer  your  letter 
is  to  look  over  the  document  hisself,  &  go  on 
a  answering  it  symoniously.  ...  ist  Come  remarks 
about  my  Athos  tour  : — I  am  getting  up  (by  my 
usual  dilatory  but  sure  process  of  penning  out  and 
colour)  all  my  drawings  of  the  Monasteries,  and 
have  them  ready  all  but  10  or  12,  thanks  to  after 
dinner  applecation  and  stayathomeaciousness.  They 
are  a  reemarkible  lot  of  work,  as  I  hope  one  day  you 
will  see :  mind,  if  you  do  come  while  I  am  here, 
I  have  now  a  better  spare  bed-room  than  you'll  get 
anywhere  in  the  town,  &  you  should  do  just  as  you 
liked,  barring  leaving  the  windys  open  all  night, 
because  then  my  landlord's  29  cats  would  perforate 
the  domestic  tranquillity  of  my  establishment.  I  must 
tell  you  with  a  feeling  of  pride  &  conflatulation  that 
I  have  made  such  progress  in  Greek  as  to  be  able 
to  read  the  Testament  (in  old  as  well  as  modern,) 
quite  comfortably  : — and  since  I  can  read  the  life  of 
Christ  in  the  Original,  my  desire  of  seeing  the  actual 
places  he  lived  in  are  not  to  be  stoppled  any  more. 

43 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

1  gain  more  fixed   and   real   ideas   from   the  actual 
history  than  from  our  translation. 

2ndly  I  understand  you  now  quite  about  the 
"Ideal": — My  dear  boy,  I  alas!  am  a  long  long 
way  off  my  ideal !  &  I  don't  see  how  it  can 
ever  be  got  at,  though  I  am  notwithstanding 
happy  to  say  that  I  sometimes  DO  think  I  am 
a  little  bit  nearer  the  mark  than  I  was.  But, 
hang  it,  there  must  be  an  ideal  Mrs  Lear  to  make 
up  the  perfect  ideal,  &  how  that  is  to  come  about 
I  can't  yet  tell.  Some  of  your  expressions  on  this 
head  are  exactly  like  my  friend  Lushington's  here, 
only  that  yours  come  out  spongetaneous,  whereas  his 
have  to  be  got  at  by  wrenching  and  imploring,  he 
being,  though  a  diamond  as  to  value,  yet  hidden  in 
a  tortoise's  shell,  &  doing  nothing  so  little  as  con- 
tributing an  iota  of  personal  experience  for  the  benefit 
of  others. 

3rd  -About  the  blessed  Bowen.  On  the  day  your 
letter  came,  burst  out  the  news  that  he  was,  to  use  his 
own  account,  "offered  the  Gov.  Secretaryship  of 
Mauritius,  such  change  being  intimated  as  a  mere 
step  to  further  advancement : — and  that  he  should 
return  here  as  Lord  Hpgh]  C[om]. l 

4th    All  you  said  of  "  Maude  "  is  true  &  interesting. 

O  my  i!  Lady  Ormonde!.     In  this  queer  place  very 

few  ever  heard  of  Maude  or  Tennison,  &  if  you  hear 

of  such  a  song  spoken  of  as  from  "  Maude"  so  certain 

are  you  to  hear  "  oh  !  indeed  !     Colonel  Maude  of  the 

1  Bowen  did  not  go  after  all. 

44 


Corfu  and  England 

Buffs !  very  distinguished  officer,  but  I  had  not  the 
least  idea  he  was  a  poet ! " 

5th  I  trust  your  Aunt l  will  recover  quite  and  be 
spared  to  you  many  years.  You  are  a  great  comfort 
to  her,  &  I  certainly  should  like  to  see  her.  Some- 
how that  does  not  seem  to  me  so  much  off  the  cards 
as  a  year  ago.  For  though  I  shall  hardly  come  to 
England  this  year,  yet  if  I  do  so  next,  I  really  believe 
you'll  see  me  in  Patland.  Prepare  notwithstanding 
the  ideal,  to  see  me  a  good  deal  changed  like  Dan 
Tucker,  all  de  wool  comes  off  my  'ed,  &  I  am  older 
than  Babylon  in  many  ways.  I  wish  sometimes  I 
grew  hard  and  old  at  heart,  it  would  I  fancy  save 
a  deal  of  bother : — but  perhaps  its  all  for  the  best. 

There,  that  is  all  of  the  answering.  And  I  must 
needs  wind  up  with  a  short  &  serious  account  of 
myself.  On  coming  out  of  Quarantine,  the  brutal 
earthquake  having  spifflicated  my  old  rooms,  I  had  to 
remove,  &  I  thought  it  better  to  get  an  expensive 
place  at  once,  on  condition  I  could  find  a  room  for 
work.  Whereby  I  took  the  ground  floor  of  Scarpa's 
house  on  the  Condi  Terrace,  or  more  properly  speak- 
ing, Bastione,  St.  Atanasio, — for  which  I  pay  6£  a 
month.  This  is  the  plan  of  the  baste.  I.  is  my 
stewjew  30  feet  long  :  3  windys  all  a  looking  to 
the  North  East,  whereby  the  light  is  always  perfect. 

1  Mrs.  Ruxton,  widow  of  Mr.  Ruxton  of  Red  House.  She  was 
devoted  to  her  nephew  Fortescue,  and  this  affection  was  fully 
reciprocated  by  him.  He  spent  much  of  his  time  with  her  at 
Ardee. 

45 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

This  room  I  use  only  as  a  study, — Greek  &  painting. 
My  great  9  feet  canvas  makes  a  good  show  of  work 
in  it  just  now.  2.  is  the  sitting  &  dining  room  :  very 


nice  &  comfortable, — library, — good  table, — matting,  & 
very  old  prints  of  Oxford  Terrace  around  :  Tennyson, 
Lord  Derby,  &  Mr.  Hornby  portraits  :  various  Athos 
oddities  here  &  there.  3.  is  a  small  &  sinopotho- 
mostic  chamber  adorned  with  my  framed  sketches  & 
pick  pictures  as  are  finished,  for  people  to  come 
&  see.  Vich  the  coming  of  a  live  Markis  &  Mar- 
chioness (Drogheda)  and  several  other  membiers  of 
the  Peeriage  vos  the  proudest  moment  of  my  life. 
4.  is  my  bedroom  plain  &  comfortable.  5  a  lumber 
&  spare  room — to  be  done  up  proper  for  you  when 
you  come.  6.  my  man  Giorgio  Kokali's1  room.  It 
is  Mr.  Kokali's  opinion  &  compliment  that  the  painting 
I  am  now  doing  of  Corfu  will  prevent  all  other 
Englishmen  coming  here,  for  says  he  Start  ilvai  UHTTE  rfjv 

dtvaiv,  roaov  aicpt€a>c  OTI  icavcva  SlAet  va  irXrip^aet  va  IX^rj  Icto 

— where's  the  good  of  people  paying  for  coming  so  far 
if  they  can  see  the  very  same  thing  at  home  ?  Giorgio 
is  a  valuable  servant,  capital  cook,  &  endlessly  obliging 

1  Giorgio  Kokali,  Lear's  faithful  servant,  lived  with  him  till 
he  died  at  San  Remo,  when  his  son  took  his  place. 

46 


Corfu  and  England 

and  handy,  not  quite  as  clean  as  I  should  like  always, 
but  improving  by  kindness.  1  teach  the  critter  to 
read  &  write,  &  he  makes  long  strides ! 

Over-head  live  Major  &  Mrs.  Shakespeare,  really 
clever  &  nice  quiet  people.  The  houses  here  are  so 
thin  that  one  hears  everything,  so  good  neighbours 
are  real  blessings.  Condi  Terrace  is  the  "  West-end  " 
of  Corfu  and  we  are  all  more  or  less  swells  as  lives 
in  it.  Next  door  lives  my  friend  the  Justice  F. 
Lushington.  Further  on  the  Cortazzi,  a  family  of 
whom  more  another  time.  Then  the  Parson,  which 
is  a  brick.  At  the  other  end  Colonel  Gage,  &  the 
other  Justice  Sir  James  Reid.1  If  you  come  I'll  ask 
them  to  come  and  dine  :  being  a  distinct  Lord  of  the 
Treasury2  it  behoves  a  friend  to  match  you  with 
almighty  swells. 

Well  I  set  to  work  fearfully,  riz  at  5^  always — at  6£ 
&  to  8J  6  StSaffKoAoe  epxfrat.3  And  then  I  paint  till  3  or 
4  having  breakfasted  at  9  and  I  walk  a  bit  till  6.  Dine 
at  6J,  and  pen  out  my  Athos  drawings  till  10.  My 
'elth  is  on  the  'ole  pretty  good  &  I  can  work  longer 
than  before  this  year.  My  big  Corfu  will  be  a 
stunner,  &  I  mean  to  try  for  500  guineas  for  him,  he 
be  9  feet  4  inches  long,  &  6  feet  'i.  I  hope  to  get 
him  to  Manchester  in  time. 

I  meant  to  finish  out  &  out  a  regular  long  letter 

1  Member  of  the  Supreme  Council  in  Ionian  Islands,  holding 
office  of  Supreme  Justice  in  rotation,  1837-58. 

2  Fortescue  was  appointed  a  Lord  of  the  Treasury  in  March, 
1854. 

3  "  The  master  comes." 

47 


but  cannot  do  so,  for  6  letters  having  come  by  post, 
and  among  them  one  very  sad  one  from  Holman 
Hunt,  who  writes  in  great  affliction  on  account  of  the 
death  of  his  father,  and  of  Seddon  our  friend  who  was 
with  us  in  Egypt.1  So  I  have  to  reply  to  that  as  well 
as  3  others.  One  is  from  Alfred  Seymour,  a  very 
nice  letter.  I  am  so  sorry  I  have  not  received  one  he 
wrote  from  Vienna.  If  you  see  him,  thank  him  & 
say  I  will  write  very  omejutly.  Moreover,  the  wind 
has  turned  South  &  so  virulent  that  my  chimbly 
smokes,  so  that  I  can't  go  on  no  how,  &  it  is  so  damp 
&  cold  I  must  go  to  bed  I  fear.  This  is  the  only 
drawback  to  the  house. 

The  Palace  folk  continue  to  be  very  kind  to  me, 
&  I  like  them  better.  Sir  John  Y.  is  evidently  a  kind 
good  man,  &  I  fancy  more  able  than  he  was  thought 
to  be.  The  truth  being  that  it  is  no  easy  matter  to 
act  suddenly,  where  as  here,  language  &  people  are 
unbeknown  &  all  power  is  in  the  hands  of  the  secre- 
tary. Lady  Y.  lives  too  much  for  amusement,  but  she 
certainly  improves  &  I  believe  I  should  end  by  liking 
her  very  much  if  I  saw  more  of  her.  Now  my  dear 
boy  I  must  close  this  as  the  Cyclopses  used  to  say  of 
their  one  eye.  I  wish  I  had  written  more  or  betterer, 
but  can't.  My  'ed  is  all  gone  woolgathering.  Do 
you  write  again  as  soon  as  ever  you  can,  if  ever  so 
shortly,  &  believe  me  always,  Dear  Fortescue, 
Yours  affectionately 

EDWARD  LEAR. 

1  Thomas  Seddon,  the  landscape  painter. 
48 


Corfu  and  England 

May  this  and  many  others  be  very  happy  New 
Years  to  you. 

Here  my  boy !  give  me  your  eternal  thanks  for 
what  I  am  going  to  suggest  to  you  as  a  parliamentary 
motion,  to  be  brought  out  &  spoken  on  by  yourself, 
to  the  ultimate  benefit  of  society  &  to  your  own  post- 
perpetual  glorification.  As  soon  as  Parliament  meets, 
move  that  all  Sidney  Herbert's  distressed  needle- 
women be  sent  out  at  once  to  Mount  Athos  !  By  this 
dodge  all  the  5000  monks  young  and  old  will  be 
vanquished : — distressed  needle-babies  will  ultimately 
awake  the  echoes  of  ancient  Acte,  &  the  whole  fabric 
of  monkery,  not  to  say  of  the  Greek  church  will 
fall  down  crash  &  for  ever.  N.B.  Let  the  needle- 
women be  all  landed  at  once,  4000  at  least,  on  the 
South-east  side  of  the  peninsula  &  make  a  rush  for  the 
nearest  monastery,  that  subdued,  all  the  rest  will 
speedily  follow. 

CORFU,  May  i,  1857. 

My  dear  4oscue,  May  4.  Which  the  above  was 
writtle  flee  days  ago,  but  this  very  mominlet  comes  a 
letter  from  you,  date  Apl.  23  ?  as  usual  always  one 
of  my  regular  pleasures.  Now,  this  letter  will  neither 
be  a  nice  one  nor  a  long  one,  but,  just  the  hopposit 
for  it  is  to  say  I  am  coming  to  England  fast  as  I 
can,  having  taken  a  redboom  at  Hansens  16.  Upper 
Seymour  Street,  Squortman  Pare,  and  also  a  rork- 
woom  or  Stew-jew  at  15  Stratford  Place. 

My  big  picture  is  in  a  mess,  &  without  Holman 
Hunt's  help  I  can't  get  on  with  it,  though  it  is  done 

49  E 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

as  to  what  must  necessarily  be  done  here,  and  requires 
but  2  months  of  cropping  and  thought.  Pray  heaven 
I  may  sell  it.  I  bring  to  England  my  drawings  of 
Athos,  I  hope,  for  publication.  Also  sketches  of  Corfu 
for  separate  lithogrofigging,  &  sale  here.  Also  one 
or  two  paintings  to  finish.  Why  are  you  coming  say 
you?  because  I  can't  stay  here  any  longer — without 
seeing  friends  &  having  some  communion  of  heart  & 
spirit — with  one  who  should  have  been  this  to  me, 
I  have  none.  And  I  can't  bear  it.  And  I  want  to 
see  my  sister.  And  also  another  sister  who  is  going 
to  N.  Zealand,  before  she  goes.  And  some  Canadian 
cousins.  And  you.  And  my  dear  Daddy  Holman 
Hunt,  &  other  people.  So  I'm  off. 

What  a  talk  we  will  have!  B[owen]  goes  about 
saying  that  Mauritius  is  very  angry  that  L[abouchere]  * 
sent  them  out  a  Doctor?  and  beg  for  him.  ...  I  am 
glad  T.  Baring  is  M.P.3  he  is  a  good-hearted  boy. 
I  shall  do  you  the  little  Jerusalem  con  amore.  Don't 
pollygize  about  your  not  writing  :  I  gnoo  how  bizzy  u 
were.  I  didn't  go  off  East,  because  Clive  did  not 
come,  he  stood  for  Derbyshire  and  failed.  I  hope 
I  may  see  Strawberry  Hill  with  you.  Give  my 
remembrances  to  Lady  Waldegrave. 

1  Henry  Labouchere,  at  this  time  Colonial  Secretary,  became 
Lord  Taunton  in  1859. 

2  Humphrey    Sandwith,   C.B.,  was    appointed  secretary  at 
Mauritius.     He  had  had  a  varied  and  interesting  career,  as 
correspondent  to  the   Times  at   Constantinople   in   1853,   and 
as  staff-surgeon,  &c.,  during  the  Crimean  War. 

3  For  Falmouth. 

SO 


Corfu  and  England 

How  I  long  to  have  a  talk  with  you.  You  seem 
to  me  to  be  much  more  be  firm-ified  &  be-moral- 
strengthefied  and  goaheady  since  we  parted.  I  don't 
know  what  to  say  about  the  Secretaryship  for  the 
Colonies.1  Personally  I  should  like  you  there 
naturally : — but  the  place  ought  to  be  filled  by  one 
who  KNOWS  and  studies  the  subject  thoroughly. 
(Stanley2  for  instance.)  But  I  don't  say  you  wouldn't 
or  couldn't.  Do  not  decide  hastily  on  non-application 
for  it.  But  who  is  going  out  of  it?  Just  a  beastly 
letter  as  this  never  was !  O  life  !  life  !  life  !  What  is 
the  next  to  be  ? 

Lear  to  Lady   Waldegrave. 

RED  HOUSE,  ARDEE,  14.  Sept.,  1857. 
DEAR  LADY  WALDEGRAVE, — I  think  you  may  be 
amused  by  my  writing  you  some  account  of  my  visit 
to  Ireland,  if  you  have  courage  to  look  at  such  an 
alarming  sheet  of  paper  as  this  is  :  but  if  it  appears 
too  frightful  you  can  easily  tear  it  up,  or  at  least  not 
read  it.  You  will  have  heard  from  Charles  Braham 
that  we  were  very  comfortable  at  Ravensdale  : — really 
I  never  saw  a  more  delightful  place,  nor  a  better  house 
than  Lord  Clermont's,  &  the  days  I  passed  there  were 
most  pleasant.  I  had  known  Lord  &  Lady  Clermont 

1  Fortescue's  friends  wished  him  to  apply  for  the  post.  He 
became  Under  Secretary  for  the  Colonies  from  1857  to  1858, 
and  again  from  1859-1865.  Afterwards  he  was  appointed  Chief 
Secretary  for  Ireland,  &c.,  &c. 

*  Edward  John,  second  Baron  Stanley  of  Alderley,  at  this 
time  President  of  the  Board  of  Trade. 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

years  ago  in  Rome,  (even  before  I  knew  the  Fortescue,) 
&  as  they  are  extremely  nice  persons,  Ravensdale, 
including  possessors,  grounds,  gardens,  house,  hills, 
heather,  views,  peacocks,  &  rabbits,  rivers,  dinners, 
with  all  the  objects  and  things  in  general,  seemed  to 
my  thinking  a  first  rate  place.  Nevertheless  I  was 
curious  to  see  RD,  &  the  Red  House,  &  above  all 
the  Aunt,  so  that  I  was  not  sorry  to  come  here,  the 
rather  that  I  am  always  more  or  less  disagreeable  if  I 
am  not  at  work. 

The  Irish  are  funny  people,  &  the  moment  one 
lands  here  it  is  evident  that  England  &  Ireland  are 
very  different  countries  in  many  respects.  Among 
other  odd  ways  of  speech,  the  common  people  never 
by  any  chance  say  Yes,  or  No,  : — e.g.  Is  it  time  to  go  ? 
"It  is  not  Sir"  or  "It  is  Sir"  Have  you  cleaned 
my  boots.  "  I  have  Sir  "  or  "  I  have  not  Sir."  When 
we  asked  at  Dublin  if  the  Scientific  Association  meet- 
ing was  over,  they  said  "  Indeed  &  it  isn't,  but  the 
strength  of  it  is  pretty  well  broken,"  as  if  it  were  a 
revolution.  But  one  of  the  best  absurdities  is  told  of 
an  old  woman  here,  who  though  pretty  well  off  grumbled 
horribly,  &  when  they  said  to  her  that  for  good  clothes, 
prosperous  children,  a  kind  husband  &  comfortable 
house  she  ought  to  thank  God — "And  sure  don't  he 
take  it  out  of  me  in  Corns ! "  said  she.  I  go  into  fits 
of  laughing  here,  when  they  call  after  Fortescue, 
"  MIMBER  ! "  and  it  is  also  very  queer  to  hear  them 
congratulate  him  on  being  at  home  again. 

But  the  Wonder  and  crowning  part  of  Redhouse  is 

52 


Corfu  and  England 

the  Aunt,  Mrs.  Ruxton  : — I  never  saw  such  a  delightful 
or  so  extraordinary  an  old  lady: — at  85,  she  has  all  the 
activity  of  mind  and  body  of  persons  at  60  in  usual 
life,  &  far  more  of  the  bright  intelligence,  absolute 
fun,  constant  cheerfulness,  unselfishness,  good  sense 
and  judgment,  kindness  of  thought  &  deed  than 
usually  can  be  found  united  in  any  individual  of  any 
age.  Only  she  is  a  little  deaf,  but  that  at  times,  not 
always.  It  is  quite  singular  to  observe  how  she  enters 
into  the  interest  of  all  kinds  of  matters,  &  never  seems 
to  tire,  tho'  she  is  out  in  the  garden  by  7,  &  goes  to 
bed  not  before  1 1  at  night !  What  with  her  garden, 
the  grounds,  the  house,  writing  letters,  visiting  her 
poor  people,  attending  her  schools,  (she  drives  herself 
about  in  a  pony-chaise,)  reading  and  talking,  she  never 
seems  to  have  an  unoccupied  moment,  &  tho'  at  first 
I  thought  this  might  be  an  unusual  state  of  things, 
I  find  she  is  exactly  the  same  day  by  day.  The  old 
lady  has  still  the  remains  of  great  beauty  &  her 
expression  is  one  of  the  most  perfectly  benevolent  & 
animated  you  can  imagine.  She  is  immensely  fond 
of  Fortescue,  &  no  wonder,  for  he  is  just  like  a  son  to 
her.  Chichester  Fortescue  has  in  fact  appeared  to  me 
quite  in  a  new  light  since  I  saw  him  here :  I  always 
knew  many  of  his  qualities  well,  his  good  and  general 
taste  in  matters  of  literature,  art,  &c.,  his  great  truth- 
fulness &  his  warm  and  generous  disposition  :  but  I 
was  not  prepared  to  find  him  so  active  in  all  county  & 
parochial  business,  nor  had  I  ever  seen  him  in  the 
position  of  a  most  affectionate  child  as  he  is  to  Mrs. 

53 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Ruxton.  It  is  always  a  great  thing  to  find  that  longer 
and  closer  knowledge  of  character  makes  it  more 
esteemed  &  liked,  and  my  stay  here  has  already  caused 
me  to  think  higher  of  Chichester  Fortescue  &  to  like 
him  better  than  I  ever  did  before,  &  that  is  saying 
no  little. 

Another  point  of  Mrs.  Ruxton's  character  is  her 
quiet  &  regular  piety,  though  that  you  might  assume 
from  my  description  of  her  goodness  :  she  is  in  a  word 
a  tip  top  Christian  multiplied  by  20  &  I  never  believed 
I  could  see  so  much  to  admire  in  any  old  lady. 

Our  party  is  small  here  only  Chichester  Hamilton, 
Fortescue's  nephew,  a  good  quiet  lad.  (They  are  all 
anxious  enough  about  his  brother  John,1  who  is  near 
Benares).  And  a  fourth  person  is  a  lady,  formerly 
governess  to  Miss  F[ortescue].2  A  very  good  person 
also,  but  given  to  enunciate  sentences  &  ask  questions 
as  if  she  were  reading  from  a  book  in  a  manner  that 
tries  our  gravity  now  &  then.  "  Have  you  ever,  Mr. 
Fortescue,  been  induced  to  tempt  the  tempestuous 
waves  of  the  remote  Atlantic  in  order  to  visit  the 
wondrous  New  World?"  "Tea  is  an  innoxious  & 
wholesome  beverage  &  is  acceptable  at  all  times,"  are 
specimens  of  what  I  mean  : — but  Miss  B.  is  very  full 
of  information  &  very  amiable  &  attentive  to  Mrs. 
Ruxton.  After  prayers  &  breakfast,  I  collapse  into  a 

1  John  Hamilton  was  at  this  time  holding  a  post  as  Engineer, 
and  was  in  the  thick  of  the  Indian  Mutiny.  He  died  on 
October  19,  1858. 

a  Younger  sister  of  Fortescue,  and  wife  of  David  Urquhart, 
later  M.P.  for  Stafford. 

54 


MRS.  RUXTON. 
From  a  photograph  of  a  pictu 


To  face  pages  4- 


Corfii  and  England 

small  studio  which  they  have  given  me,  where  I  paint 
away  till  luncheon  time,  &  again  afterwards  till  6, 
when  I  walk  with  C.  F.  till  7  :  but  I  am  not  sure  that 
the  experiment  of  working  in  a  friends  house  is  a  good 
one,  seeing  that  I  am  always  wrapped  up  in  what  I 
am  about,  and  as  I  rarely  succeed  as  I  wish,  am  in 
proportion  cross  and  disgusting.  Meanwhile  every- 
body is  very  kind  and  good  natured  and  lets  me  do  as 
I  please,  so  that  I  have  nothing  particular  to  growl 
at,  not  even  having  corns,  like  the  old  lady  above 
mentioned. 

DUBLIN  ROYAL  HOSPITAL, 

3.  October,  1857. 

I  have  at  last  left  the  Red  House  and  its  happy 
family,  for  so  they  really  are.  I  cannot  remember 
to  have  been  so  happy  for  a  long  while  past.  As 
for  Mrs.  Ruxton,  she  is  certainly  a  more  extra- 
ordinary and  delightful  old  lady  than  any  description 
can  convey  an  idea  of :  she  is  so  constantly  the  same 
and  yet  with  such  varied  interest  and  liveliness  that 
one  cannot  help  liking  her  more  and  more  each  day.  I 
am  so  glad  to  have  a  photograph  of  her  with  Fortescue, 
which  is  very  good  I  think.1  On  the  26th  F.  &  I 
went  to  Newcastle,  which  is  not  in  Northumberland 
as  the  school  books  tell  us,  but  in  the  county  of  Down, 
&  is  a  village  by  the  side  of  the  omnivorous  ocean. 
Lord  &  Lady  Clermont  had  a  house  there,  &  the 
scenery  all  about  the  place  is  very  charming.  One 

1  The  frontispiece  is  a  companion  one,  taken  of  Lear  and 
Fortescue  at  the  same  time  at  Red  House. 

55 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

day  we  passed  at  Tullamore  Park,1  a  really  fine  place, 
full  of  beautiful  ruins  &  bridges  &  trees  &  roads  & 
mills  &  hills,  &  lawns  &  laurels  &  a  high  mounting 
above  all,  up  to  the  top  of  which,  Lady  C.  F.,  Miss 
Hamilton,2  &  I  walked,  which  was  not  an  easy  task 
because  we  3  had  to  go  at  such  a  pace  to  keep  up  with 
Fortescue,3  who,  having  the  luncheon  in  his  pocket, 
insidiously  endeavoured  to  distance  us,  to  eat  it,  so  our 
fears  told  us,  clandestinely,  before  we  reached  him. 
Nevertheless  we  all  reached  the  top  together,  & 
behaved  very  well  &  amiably,  all  of  us.  In  coming 
down  thro'  the  woods  we  were  seized  with  frightful 
pangs  of  hunger,  &  devoted  some  time  to  the  im- 
moderate consumption  of  blackberries.  After  that  we 
found  a  place  where  there  had  been  a  picnic,  &  we 
amused  ourselves  very  intellectually  for  a  long  period 
in  shying  stones  at  a  bottle,  which  nobody  hit,  tho1 
after  Lady  Clermont  &  I  turned  &  left  the  spot,  4oscue 
&  his  niece  basely  made  a  tinkling  sound  on  the  glass, 
&  declared  they  had  thrown  at  it  successfully.  After 
that  we  found  a  million  ot  bits  of  blue  paper,  torn  up 
by  the  picnic-makers  in  triumphant  certainty  that 
oblivion  would  rest  upon  their  names  thus  destroyed  : 
but  we  employed  a  considerable  space  in  sedulously 
joining  all  the  little  bits,  &  finally  made  out  two  cards 
&  addresses,  viz,  "  Miss  Maconochie  "  &  "  Dr.  Forde  " 

1  The  residence  of  the  Earl  of  Roden. 

2  Fortescue's  niece. 

3  Fortescue    always  outdistanced   all  walkers,  and   brought 
them  in  a  state  of  breathlessness  to  the  end  of  their  walks 
or  climbs. 

56 


Corfu  and  England 

which  we  left  openly  in  the  middle  of  the  road,  to  the 
dismay  &  disgust  of  all  deceitful  &  presumptious  lovers 
hereafter. 

On  Tuesday  the  29th  we  all  broke  up,  &  C.  F.  &  I 
returned  to  Red  House.  A  letter  came  yesterday 
from  John  Hamilton  at  Dinapore,  but  to  his  father,1  so 
its  contents  were  unknown  :  but  the  fact  of  its  being 
sent  seems  to  be  good  news,  at  least  of  his  safety. 

0  dear  !  such  a  many  people  have  rushed  upon  me, 
that  I  must  leave  off: — This  good  kind  Lord  &  Lady 
Seaton  are  exactly  the  same  as  they  used  to  be  10 
years   ago.     Excuse   my   detached    &   absurd    note, 
because  I  am  so  distractable. 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

ROYAL  HOSPITAL  Oct.  3.  1857, 
MIMMBR! 

1  shall  write  you  a  line,  though  there  aint  much  to 
say.     I  got  to  Dublin  safely,  only  discompozed  a  little 
because    the    only   person    in   the 

Railway  compartment  I  got  into 
was  a  very  fat  woman,  just  exactly 
like  a  picture  of  Jonah's  whale  I 
used  to  see  when  a  child  in  a 
picture  bible.  I  was  horribly  afraid  S* — ^^  ; 
she  would  eat  me  up  &  sat  expect-  -3111*:  \ 

ing   an   attack   constantly,   till   the 
arrival  of  the  train  relieved  me  of  apprehension.     At 
the  Bilton  I  found  a  note  from  that  kind  good  Lady 
1  Husband  of  Fortescue's  eldest  sister. 
57 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Seaton,  saying  as  an  old  acquaintance  of  mine,  Mr. 
Drummond  &  others  had  left  suddingly, — &  there  vos 
beds  to  spear.  So  I  went  on,  and  passed  a  very 
pleasant  evening.  Some  of  the  party  were  excursing 
in  Wicklow,  &  among  them  the  fair  De  Salis1  who 
only  came  in  late,  &  I  don't  think  I  delight  in  her 
appearance  or  manners  any  more  than  I  used  to  do. 


The  Pictures  gave  great  pleasure,  &  I  had  a  good  deal 
of  talk  with  fine  old  Lord  Seaton2  about  the  Indian 
Revolt.  He  believes  that  Havelock  will  succeed  at 
Lucknow.3  I  have  pretty  well  made  up  my  mucila- 
ginous mind  to  cross  to  Liverpool  to-night.  The  day 

1  Daughter  of  Count  Jerome  de  Salis,  and  afterwards  wife  of 
Col.  Challoner,  of  Portnall  Park. 

2  One  of  the  most  distinguished  soldiers  of  his  time,  and  a 
Peninsular  and  Waterloo  hero.     He  died  in  1862. 

3  The  city  was  relieved  on  the  25th  of  September 

58 


Corfu  and  England 

is  highly  beastly  &  squondangerlous,  &  there  is  no  fun 
in  going  about  in  the  pouring  rain  in  a  car  to  make 
calls,  so  I  shall  write  to  Archd>  Strong,  &  send  a  book 
to  Dudgeon's  children,  whereby  you  see,  albeit  I  quiet 
my  conscience,  yet  I  am  not  so  virtuous  as  You  thought. 
However,  it  is  all  on  your  shoulders. 

So,  I  shall  very  probbabbly  be  in  the  great  Exbtion> 
on  Tuesday,  after  all.  Stand  at  the  2nd  arch-place 
marked  X  —  and  looking  through  the  door  D.  you  will 
see  Syracuse. 

I  wish  I  was  at  Redhouse,  a  dispensing  of  Butter. 
Goodbye,  my  dear  Mimmbr. 

A  fortnight  or  so  later,  after  a  series  of 
visits  to  Henry  Bruce  afterwards  Lord  Aber- 
dare  another  patron  of  his,  Gambier  Parry 
and  many  others  in  the  South  and  West  of 
England,  he  finds  himself  at  Wells,  with  his 
old  friend  Church,  now  Canon  of  Wells,  and 
shortly  afterwards  he  writes  in  Greek  from 
Hack  wood  : 

HACKWOOD  PARK,  HANTS, 

Novbr.  2,  1857. 


5rt     crag    orlAAa*     raurrjv    rr/v    CTrioroAi^v, 

cif    AovStvov    avpiov  ;    r$)]    typa^a    irpbg    £va 
v  fJ.ov,  KOL  rov  tfyavipoaa  5rt  r/foAov  Trrj-yatva  va  •ycvjuart^a) 
'avrov,  —  sav  auroc  [£  ffitXa  -y/oa^/tt  ort  elvai  tig  TO  a<nr\Tr\6v 
,  —  aAAa,    orav  Stv  jti^  ^rlAAfi  TtVorce,  —  Svvarov  Kai    KaXbv 
flvai    va    y£VfJ.ari^wfJi^v    6/uov.  —  'O    6 
59 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

6     Kvpiog    PiKKupSv^    Mfl-e^eXX    SAet    em    <re    7rl/*7ra> 


roc 

Which  is  to  say,  if  the  Beadons  aint  at  home,  what 
time  shall  you  be  where  &  when  &  which  ?  If  I  get 
no  note  from  them  I  will  call  on  you  at  any  hour  you 
will  name  in  a  note  sent  to  16  Upper  Seymour  St. 
or  be  at  the  Blue  Posts  &c. 

1  Merely  saying  to  his  "  beloved  friend  Fortescue  "  that  he 
has  already  written  to  another  friend  to  propose  himself  to  dine 
with  him,  but  if  he  does  not  do  so  he  will  dine  with  F.  He 
ends  up  with  "  O  mighty  Krites,  Richard  son  of  Cyrus  wishes 
me  to  send  you  greeting."  Lear's  Greek  is  "  atrocious,"  so 
scholars  I  have  consulted  have  told  me.  But  with  so  exact  a 
man,  so  minute  in  detail  and  with  such  a  perfect  ear,  as  Ruskin 
said,  for  versification,  I  cannot  help  thinking  that  perhaps  a 
part  of  what  seems  to  the  outsider  hopelessly  incorrect  may 
have  been  intentional,  and  that  there  was  "  a  method  "  of  his 
own  in  his  madness.  In  English  he  joked  and,  as  it  were, 
executed  acrobatic  somersaults  of  imagination  to  the  wildest 
degree  in  that  language,  and  it  is  possible  he  may  have 
attempted  the  same  thing  in  Greek,  a  sample  of  which  may 
be  seen  in  his  translation  of  "  Oly  mountain,"  the  wrong 
turn  of  the  apostrophe,  being,  I  feel  sure,  made  intentionally. 

It  has  been  thought  best  to  give  the  Greek  sentences  in 
words  as  near  the  original  as  possible,  but  this  is  difficult,  as 
Lear  always  turned  his  Greek  I's  upside  down  besides  giving 
a  double-lined  comet-like  tail  to  them,  and  ornamented  with 
wonderful  flourishes  and  additions  many  other  letters.  Besides, 
he  was,  it  must  be  remembered,  learning  ancient  and  modern 
Greek  at  the  same  time,  and  who  knows  what  combinations 
he  may  have  effected  consistent  to  his  own  mind  if  to  no 
other  ?  Therefore  I  ask  leniency  on  the  part  of  readers 
understanding  Greek,  both  as  to  orthography  and  translation. 

I  would  also  add  in  this  note  that  Lear  loved  to  "  frisk  and  to 
gambol  "  in  spelling  as  in  all  else,  and  the  results  in  the  following 
letters  have  been  most  carefully  preserved  by  both  editor  and 
publisher,  and  in  no  case  are  misinterpretations  or  misprints. 

60 


CHAPTER   III 

November,   1857,  to  March,   1858 

CORFCl 

SETTING  out  for  Corfu  again  on  the  2Oth 
of  November,  he  writes  : 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

PAIRLIM  HOTEL,  FOLKESTONE, 

20  Nov.  1857. 

I  got  your  last  letter  at  Hastings,  together  with  an 
extremely  nice  one  from  Chi : — Many  thanks,  &  also 
for  the  extracts  from  dear  old  Mrs.  Ruxton's  letter. 
Do  not  forget  to  thank  her  from  me,  &  also  the  Chi. 
for  his  letter. 

All  the  ill  luck  and  bad  omens  possible  seemed  to 
conspire  to  prevent  my  starting,  ist  the  ticket  master 
at  Lewes  gave  me  a  wrong  ticket,  (on  my  way  to 
Bournemouth,)  so  I  was  hauled  up  at  Brighton,  & 
nearly  missed  the  Portsmouth  train  :  but  I  didn't. 
2nd.  We  ran  into  a  semishunted  goods  train  at  Botley, 
&  squashed  our  carriages.  Happily  we  were  not 

61 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

going  fast.  Meanwhile  my  back  was  very  badly 
jarred,  &  I  was  unable  to  walk  without  great  pain. 
Laying  up  next  day  at  good  Mrs.  Empson's  bettered 
me  &  tho'  still  very  lame,  I  am  now  getting  over  the 
wrench.  At  first  I  thought  I  could  not  have  started 
at  all.  .  .  . 

To-day  at  noon  I  am  going  to  start  by  the 
stereopyptic  sophisticle  steamer  &  so  on  to  Paris — 
the  weather  being  miscelaynious  &  calm,  thanks  be 
to  Moses. 

I  am  glad  to  know  you  are  working  hard  : — the 
more  you  conquer  the  details  &  grammar  of  the 
"  whole  duty  "  of  the  Colonies,  the  better  for  you. 
Know  every  detail  of  every  kind  in  all  the  colonies 
if  you  can,  &  the  character  &c.  of  everybody  em- 
ployed. For,  whenever  (if  ever)  the  time  should 
come  that  you  may  put  into  practise  theories  of  a 
wider  &  grander  kind  than  fill  the  noddles  of  many 
men,  then  you  will  feel  the  advantage  of  being  up  to 
the  full  use  of  the  instruments  &  circumstances  you 
have  to  work  with  &  by — to  shift,  control,  or  forbid, 
as  fate  may  turn  up.  I  quite  understand  your  dinner 
at  the  Chiefs  : — he  is  a  good  easy  man  used  to  public 
life  : — voila  tout.1 

Of  you,  I  heard  a  grumpy  man  say  a  few  days 
back,  to  my  great  pleasure,  "  That  F.  used  to  be  the 
veriest  idler,  &  would  have  turned  out  good  for 
nothing  in  spite  of  his  head  if  he  hadn't  begun  to 
work — but  now  he  does,  I  can  see,  besides  being  told 

1  Labouchere. 
62 


Corfu 

so."     I  hope   to  be  in    Corfu    by  the   first  week   in 

December. 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

CORFU,  December  6.  1857. 

I  cannot  persuade  myself  to  do  anything  for  more 
than  i  o  minutes.  Painting,  drawing,  looking  at  sketches, 
reading  all  kinds  of  books,  German  or  Greek  exercises, 
sitting  still,  or  walking  about,  not  a  possibility  of 
application  can  I  make  or  discover.  But  for  all  that  I 
shall  try  to  get  a  letter  done  for  you,  because  I  shan't 
be  able  to  get  on  at  all  unless  you  write,  &  I  know  I 
can't  hear  till  I  write  first.  So  here  goes,  for  a 
fortnight's  journal.  The  knock-shock-sprain  which  I 
got  in  that  Southampton  train  bothered  me  a  good 
deal  as  I  left  England,  &  it  is  by  no  means  clear 
away  yet,  but  I  got  off  hook  or  by  crook  on  the  2Oth, 
&  had  a  neasy  passage  over  to  Boulogne,  none  the 
less  so  that  there  was  Lady  Somers  to  talk  to  & 
look  at : — she  is  certainly  the  handsomest  living  woman. 
It  seems  that  she,  S,  &  Coutts  Lindsay  really  landed 
at  Athos,  &  lived  there  2  months  !  in  tents,  various 
mucilaginous  monx  coming  now  &  then  to  see  them. 
A  few  more  such  visits  would  bust,  or  go  far  to  bust, 
the  Greek  monasticism,  I  think. 

Well,  I  didn't  stay  in  Paris,  except  that  night,  & 
got  on  to  Strasbourg  on  the  2ist,  sleeping  there,  and 
going  on  to  Heidelberg  on  Sunday  morning.  The 
rest  of  the  day  I  passed  with  the  Bunsens,1  who  live 

1  Baron  and  Baroness  de  Bunsen.  He  had  been  German 
Ambassador  in  London  1841-54.  She  was  the  eldest  daughter 
of  Benjamin  Waddington,  of  Hanover. 

63 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

in  a  house  opposite  the  castle  :  I  thought  that  evening 
very  pleasant  and  quiet,  talk  &  music  &  domesticity, 
which  you  know  are  in  my   way.     Next  afternoon, 
23rd,  I  got  to  Frankfort  &  cut  away  all  night  long, 
sustaining  myself   by    a  big  bag  of  books,   which   I 
read  by  lamplight  till  day  break.     Have  you  read  C. 
Bronte  ?     It  is  very  curious  &  interesting.     The  morn- 
ing &  middle  of  Tuesday  24th,  I  passed  at  Dresden, 
certainly  the  prettiest  city  I  ever  saw,  but  how  cold  it 
was !     Allowing  time  to  dine,  I  got  on  to  Prague  by 
night,   &  without  stopping,  to  Vienna  early   on   the 
25th.       Undoubtedly  the   railroads   in  Germany   are 
most  delightful,  when  compared  with  ours  ;  neverthe- 
less long  continuance  of  railway  travel  plays  the  deuce 
with    my    irritable   mind  &  body.     I  found  out  the 
hearty  good  Morier  soon,  &  saw  a  good  deal  of  him 
that  day  &  the  next.     We  got  on  very  simultaneously, 
(none  the  less  so  because  he  speaks  of  you  in  a  way 
that    pleases     me,)    &   had    long    talks   on   various 
subjects.     Robert  Morier  l  seems  to  me  a  man  who 
thinks  about  his  business  or  profession,  &  I  imagine 
he  would  be  one  to  get  on,  if  want  of  talent  and  want 
of  principle  were  not  a  sure  pass  to  prosperity.     We 
talked  too  of  Tennyson,  Pattledom,  Strawberry  Hill, 
&  all  kinds  of  things  ;  nor  was  a  ve*y  good  dinner 
and  wine  an  item  of  my  visit  to  be  left  unnotified. 

1  At  this  time  unpaid  attache  at  Vienna.  He  fulfilled  Lear's 
prophecy,  and  had  a  long  and  useful  diplomatic  career.  In 
1884  he  became  ambassador  at  St.  Petersburg  till  his  death  in 
1893. 

64 


Corfa 

Early  on  Friday  27th  I  was  off  to  the  Rail  again,  & 
certes  no  scenery  can  be  more  striking,  beautiful,  won- 
derful than  that  of  the  R.way  between  Vienna  and 
Trieste.  But  I  wasn't  sorry  to  be  at  my  journey's  end, 
nor  the  next  day,  to  embark  in  the  "Jupiter"  for  Corfu. 
The  first  part  of  the  voyage  was  Hell  : — that  is  a 
mild  expression  for  the  torture  I  suffered,  but  I  can't 
find  any  stronger  at  present : — the  second  part  was 
better,  and  anyhow  the  whole  was  short,  for  we  were 
at  Corfu  by  8  on  Monday  3Oth.  And  as  my  man 
Giorgio  came  down  to  meet  me,  and  as  my  boxes 
went  straight  to  my  rooms,  which  I  found  all  arranged 
just  as  I  left  them,  &  as  I  had  only  to  unpack  my 
things, — you  can't  tell  how  absolutely  ridiculous  the 
effect  of  the  whole  common  placidness  of  matters  was 
&  is  to  me.  Moreover,  Lushington  came  &  asked 
me  to  dine  that  day,  &  Sir  James  Reid  the  next,  & 
the  46th  mess  for  the  next,  &  the  Youngs  for  the 
next,  &  as  in  all  these  cases,  plates,  food,  conversation, 
&  persons  were  precisely  the  same  as  they  all  were 
6  months  ago, — the  ludicrous  sentiment  of  standstill  & 
stagnation  was  truly  wonderful.  Wonderful  at  first, 
but  gnawing  &  shocking  to  me  now.  My  dear 
Chichester,  I  do  not  know  how  I  shall  bear  it,  being 
an  ass : — &  if  you  don't  write,  &  if  others  don't 
write,  I  really  can't  tell  what  I  shall  do. 

Just  figure  to  yourself  the  conditions  of  a  place 
where  you  never  have  any  breadth  or  extent  of 
intellectual  society,  &  yet  cannot  have  any  peace  or 
quiet :  Suppose  yourself  living  in  Piccadilly,  we  will 

65  F 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

say,  taking  a  place  with  a  long  surface,  from  Coventry 
St.  to  Knightsbridge  say.  And  suppose  that  line 
your  constant  &  only  egress  &  ingress  to  &  from  the 
country,  and  that  by  little  &  little  you  come  to  know 
all  &  every  of  the  persons  in  all  the  houses,  &  meet 
them  always  and  everywhere,  &  were  thought  a  brute 
&  queer  if  you  didn't  know  everybody  more  or  less ! 
(Vouldn't  you  wish  everyone  of  them,  except  a  few, 
at  the  bottom  of  the  sea  ?  Then  you  live  in  a  house, 
one  of  the  best  here  it  is  true,  where  you  hear  every- 
thing from  top  to  bottom  : — a  piano  on  each  side,  above 
and  below,  maddens  you  : — and  you  can  neither  study 
nor  think,  nor  even  swear  properly  by  reason  of  the 
proximity  of  the  neighbours.  I  assure  you  a  more 
rotten,  dead,  stupid  place  than  this  existeth  not. 

All  this  you  would  understand  as  coming  from  me, 
but  others  would  speak  differently  of  the  place.  Lady 
Young  for  instance  calls  it  Paradise.  No  drawbacks 
annoy  her  at  home,  and  between  horses,  &  carriages,  & 
yachts,  she  is  away  from  it  as  she  pleases.  The  Reids 
do  not  dislike  Corfu  as  they  would,  had  they  not  a 
nice  family,  and  themselves  to  care  about.  The 
Cortazzi  are  gone,  almost  all  the  military  offices  are 
full  of  new  people.  My  drawing  companion  Edward  I 
is  gone,  &  I  miss  him  terribly.  I  vow  I  never  felt 
more  shockingly  alone  than  the  two  or  three  evenings 
I  have  staid  in. 

Yet  all  this  must  be  conquered  if  fighting  can  do  it. 
Yet  at  times,  I  have  thought  of,  I  hardly  know  what. 

1  I  cannot  trace  this  companion  of  the  former  visit. 
66 


Corfu 

The  constant  walking  and  noise  overhead  prevents  my 
application  to  any  sort  of  work,  &  it  is  only  from  6  to 
8  in  the  morning  that  I  can  attend  really  to  anything  : 
Then  6  ytpog  mSao-KaXoe  fjiov  tpxtTai,  KO.I  £joya£ojii£$a  6/iov 
etc  ri]v  iraXaiav  'EAAevtKvjv  yXwaaav.1  I  am  beginning 

bits  of  Plutarch  and  of  Lucian  dialogues.  And 
then,  if  I  can't  sleep,  my  whole  system  seems 
to  turn  into  pins,  cayenne-pepper,  &  vinegar  & 
I  suffer  hideously.  You  see  I  have  no  means  of 
carrying  off  my  irritation  :  others  have  horses,  or 
boats,  in  short  :  —  I  have  only  walking,  and  that 
is  beginning  to  be  impossible  alone.  I  could 
not  go  to  church  to-day.  I  felt  I  should  make 
faces  at  everybody,  so  I  read  some  Greek  of  St. 
John,  wishing  for  you  to  read  it  with  —  some  of 
Robinson's  Palestine,  some  Jane  Eyre,  some  Burton's 
Mecca,  some  Friends  in  Council,  some  Shakespeare, 
some  Vingt  ans  apres,  some  Leakes  Topography,  some 
Rabelais,  some  Tennyson,  some  Gardiner  Wilkinson, 
some  Grote,  some  Ruskin  —  &  all  in  half  an  hour 
O  !  doesn't  "  he  take  it  out  of  me  "  in  a  raging  worry  ? 
Just  this  moment  I  think  I  must  have  a  piano  :  that 
may  do  me  good.  But  then  I  remember  Miss  Hendon 
over  my  head  has  one,  &  plays  jocular  jigs  continually. 
Then  what  the  devil  can  I  do  ?  Buy  a  baboon  &  a 
parrot  &  let  them  rush  about  the  room?  AEV  l£oy><u 
I  still  hold  to  going  to  Palestine  if  possible. 


1  My  old  master  comes  and  we  work  together  upon  the 
ancient  Greek  language. 

2  Perhaps  I  shall  discover  something. 

67 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

If  I  could  but  get  myself  comfortable  and  untwisted  by 
the  noise  &  general  discomfort  of  these  houses,  I 
think  I  could  bring  myself  right  yet,  but  I  cannot  tell. 
Sometimes  I  think  I  must  begin  another  big  picture, 
as  I  want  something  to  gnash  &  grind  my  teeth  on. 
If  Helena  Cortazzi  had  been  here,  it  would  have  been 
useless  to  think  of  avoiding  asking  her  to  marry  me, 
even  had  I  never  so  little  trust  in  the  wisdom  of  such 
a  step. 

That's  enough  of  me,  I  think  for  this  once.  If  you 
don't  write  a  lot  about  yourself  you  are  a  spider  & 
no  Christian.  Meanwhile  things  here  are  not  as,  by 
all  I  was  led  to  suppose,  they  were  represented  to  you 
as  being.  .  .  . 

There  is  one  thing  here  which  cannot  be  grumbled 
at : — at  present  at  least.  The  weather,  it  has  been 
simply  cloudless  glory,  for  7  long  days  &  nights. 
Anything  like  the  splendour  of  olive-grove  &  orange- 
garden,  the  blue  of  sky  &  ivory  of  church  &  chapel,  the 
violet  of  mountain,  rising  from  peacockwing-hued  sea, 
&  tipped  with  lines  of  silver  snow,  can  hardly  be 
imagined.  I  wish  to  goodness  gracious  grasshoppers 
you  were  here.  I  believe  the  cussed  people  above 
stairs  have  goats  or  ox  feet,  they  make  such  a  deed 
row.  Among  the  chilly  mocky  absurdities,  opposite 
me  on  Friday,  as  I  dined  at  the  Palace,  sat  Lord 
Clermont's  first  cousin,  L.  J.  E.  Kozziris : l — neither 

1  His  mother  was  a  daughter  of  the  second  Earl  of  Clancarty, 
a  cousin  of  the  Fortescues,  who  in  1843  married  Signer 
Giovanni  Kozziris. 

68 


Corfii 

Greek,  Irish,  nor  English.  As  for  Lady  Y.  she  looks 
handsomer  and  younger  than  ever.  Lord  &  Lady 
Headfort l  are  expected  daily.  How  comes  it  Lord 
Strangford2  is  dead? 

Dec.  2jth,  1857. 

I  am  glad  to  hear  of  your  riding:  I  wish  to 
heaven  I  could,  or  purchase  a  Gizzard.  Tell  me 
something  of  the  general  aspect  of  things  at  Red 
House,  including  the  curly  brown  dog  &  the  two 
milkophagous  calves  who  abode  in  the  square  field. 
I  had  met  Norman  Macdonald  3  at  Lord  Cannings 
sometimes.  Lady  Duller 4  his  sister,  the  generals 
wife  here,  has  collapsed  into  nonreception  along  of 
his  demise. 

The  uppermostest  subject  in  my  feeble  mind  just 
now  is  my  Palestine  visit.  I  read  immensely  on  the 
matter,  and  am  beginning  to  believe  myself  a  Jew,  so 
exactly  do  I  know  the  place  from  Robinson,  De 
Sanley,  Lynch,  Beaumont,  Bartlett,  &  the  old  writers 
from  the  Bourdeaux  Pilgrim  to  Maundsell,  not  to 

1  The  second  Marquis. 

*  The  seventh  Viscount.     He  had  been  Under  Secretary  of 
State  for  Foreign  Affairs  in  1846.     He  had  some  reputation  as  a 
political  journalist,  but  was  better  known  in  his  early  career  for 
his  connection  with  the  "  Young  England  "  party. 

3  He  was  Controller  of  the  Lord  Chamberlain's  Department. 
He  was  seized  with  apoplexy  while  talking  with  Lady  Ely  at 
Lady  Elizabeth  Hope  Vere's,  and  died  quite  suddenly  at  St. 
James's  Palace  on  the  ist  of  December. 

*  Wife  of  Sir  George  Buller,  G.C.B.,  who  after  serving  in  the 
Crimean  War  and  the  first  and  second  Kaffir  Wars,  was  now 
commanding  a  division  in  the  Ionian  Isles. 

69 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

speak  of  Stanley,  &  Josephus,  whose  works  I  can  now, 
thank  goodness,  read  in  their  natural  garb.  Now  my 
particular  idea  at  the  present  hour  is  to  paint  Lady 
Waldegraves  2nd  picture  from  Masada l  whither  I 
intend  to  go  on  purpose  to  make  correct  drawings, 
though,  whether  I  shall  get  up  without  breaking  my 
neck  is  a  doubt.  In  that  case  Lady  W.  cannot  have 
my  painting.  My  reason  for  this  choice  is,  that  not 
only  I  know  the  fortress  of  Masada  to  be  a  wonder  of 
picturesqueness,  but  that  I  consider  it  as  embodying 
one  of  the  extremest  developments  of  the  Hebrew 
character,  i.e.  constancy  of  purpose,  &  immense 
patriotism.  This  subject  I  believe  will  as  it  were 
"  match  "  Jerusalem  well. 

At  present  I  think  my  view  for  Lady  W.  will  either 
be  from  Scopus,  or  from  the  glen  coming  up  from 
S.  Saba.  I  shall  like  to  show  her  all  the  drawings 
of  this  place — which  I  wish  I  could  see  her  now 
walking  past,  or  into  this  room,  with  the  browny- 
lilac  velvet  many  banded  dress,  and  a  nosegay  in  her 
hand.  You  are  certainly  right  in  thinking  most 
women  are  like  Copses  after  her  :  only  Lady  Y.  here 
is  not  copse-like  being  highly  vivacious  :  but  she 
lacketh  other  of  my  Lady's  qualities  which  one  would 
fain  see,  hear,  &  be  sensible  of.  Why  the  deuce  I 
compare  them  I  don't  know,  only  Lady  Y.  is  the  only 
lively  creature  here.  They  have  been  very  good- 
natured  since  I  came,  but  I  never  go  to  the  evening 

1  Now  in  the  possession  of  the  Hon.  Mrs.  Stanley,  of  Quantock 
Lodge. 

70 


parties,  rising  as  I  do,  at  a  little  after  5,  I  cannot  bring 
myself  to  dress  &  go  out  to  parties  wholly  without 
interest,  at  10. 

They  asked  me  on  the  i5th  to  meet  Lord  S.  de 
Redcliffe  I  at  a  luncheon.  He  is  a  remarkable  old 
gentleman,  &  I  was  surprised  to  see  him  so  unbroken 
&  with  his  eagle  eye  still  so  clear.  I  sat  next  to  Lady 
Y.  at  table,  and  Lord  S.  shook  hands  with  me  across, 
and  was  otherwise  exceedingly  amiable — nothing  can 
be  more  regal  and  sostenuto  than  his  manners,  and 
one  can  only  believe  in  his  temper  by  observation  of 
his  brow  and  eye.  Old  Lady  Valsamachi  (Mrs. 
Heber 2)  rushed  in  where  angels  fear  to  tread  & 
came  unasked  to  the  Palace,  with  the  ancient  bore, 
her  Greek  husband  ;  but  Lord  S.  was  I  remarked 
particularly  kind  and  affable.  Just  as  he  went  off  in 
the  steamer  there  was  an  Earthquake,  big  enough  to 
send  people  out  of  their  houses  &  the  bells  ringing, 
but  whether  the  coincidental  concussion  was  caused 
by,  or  for,  Lord  S.  de  Redcliffe,  I  leave  you  as  a  more 
educated  man  than  myself,  to  determine. 

Since  that  day  I  have  not  been  to  the  Palace,  not 
even  to  see  the  live  Marquis  &  Marchioness  of  Head- 
fort^  who  with  Miss  Erskine,  Lady  H's  reputed 

1  See  note,  p.  n.  3  Widow  of  the  Bishop  of  Calcutta. 

3  Lady  Headfort  was  Lady  McNaughten,  widow  of  Sir 
William  Hay  McNaughten,  Bart.,  of  the  Bengal  Civil  Service. 
Assassinated  at  Cabul,  Dec.  25,  1841. 

+  Afterwards  knighted.  Had  been  private  secretary  to  the 
Earl  of  Derby  in  1852.  He  was  at  this  time  British  Resident  at 
Cephalonia. 

71 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

heiress,  &  Col.  Talbot*  on  his  way  to  his  Island 
Kephalonia,  arrived  a  week  ago.  Lord  H.  is  described 
to  me  as  a  well  got  up  blase"  old  boy  ;  milady  not 
to  be  perceived  clearly,  along  of  Indian  shawls  and 
diamonds,  of  which  jewels  and  of  her  concealment 
of  them,  during  a  flight  from  some  Afghan  place 
when  she  was  Lady  Me.  N.,  wonderful  tales  are  about. 
The  weather  has  been  utterly  wonderful,  this  the 
28th  day  since  I  came,  being  the  first  with  a  single 
cloud  in  it !  Nor  has  there  been  the  least  wind,  or 
temporal  annoyance  of  any  kind,  but  always  a  lovely 
blue  &  golden  sphere  about  all  earth  sky  &  sea. 
How  different  from  the  2  preceding  years  this  !  And 
the  Olives  are  one  bending  mass  of  fruit.  I  have 
however  walked  but  little.  I  grow  weary  of  the  3 
dull  miles  out  &  3  back  in  order  to  reach  any 
scenery.  And  although  J.  has  walked  with  me  at 
times,  yet  it  is  a  weary  silent  work,  &  now  that  he 
has  got  a  dog,  one  cannot  help  feeling  how  far  more 
agreeable  it  is  to  him  to  walk  with  that  domestic 
object,  to  whom  he  has  not  the  bore  of  being  obliged 
to  speak.  We  are  on  perfect  good  terms,  but  all  or 
anything  might  happen  to  either,  &  neither  would 
dream  of  telling  the  other,  a  state  of  things  I  do  not 
call  friendship.  But  on  this  and  such  a  matter  I 
dwell  as  little  as  possible.  I  have  to  live  alone  & 
do  so  though  ungracefully  : — (Whereas  you  who  are 
pretty  well  alone  as  to  the  possibility  of  others  sym- 
pathyzing  with  you  in  your  principal  interests,  manage 
to  do  so  remarkably  well).  So  I  stay  at  home,  and 

72 


EDWARD  LKAR. 
From  a  photograph  taken  about  ifyj  or  1854. 


To/ace pa«e  72 


Corfti 

oppose  the  morbids.  I  can  tell  you  that  I  miss  Helena 
Cortazzi  though — a  few — now  &  then.  The  Reids 
are  good  and  friendly  people,  but  of  them  even  I  see 
little.  Campbell  of  the  46th  (Simeon's  cousin)  is  a 
really  nice  fellow,  but  all  these  people  are  mad 
after  snipes  &  woodcox  now,  &  abjure  all  intellect 
&  repose.  Edward  my  last  years .  companion  I  miss 
abominably.  Bunsen  I  as  I  said  is  a  good  little  chap, 
clever,  but  talks  like  50  thousand  millions  of  tongues. 

CORFU.    Jan.  3.  1858. 

0  mi  i !  how  cold  it  is  !     The  weather  hasn't  changed 
after  all,  &  I   believe  don't  mean  to.     It's  as  bright 
and  cold  &  icicular  as  possible,  and  elicits  the  ordibble 
murmurs  of  the  cantankerous  Corcyreans.     As  for  the 
English  they  like  the  cold  generally,  I  don't : — Not- 
withstanding which,  I  must  own  to  being  in  absolously 
better  health  than  for  I  don't  know  how  long  past. 
Yesterday  I  went  up  a  mounting  &  made  a  sketch, 
£KajU£  fiiav  £coy/oa0tav.2     A  majestic  abundance  of  tym- 
panum-torturing turkeys  are  now  met  with  on  all  the 
roads,  coming  into  Corfu  to  be  eaten.     These  birds 
are   of  a  highly   irascible   disposition,    and    I    never 
knew  before  2  days  ago,  that  they  objected  to  being 
whistled  to.     But  Col.  Campbell  informed  me  of  the 
fact,  and  proved  it  to  me,  since  when  it  is  one  of  my 
peculiar  happinesses  to  whistle  to  all  the  Turkeys  I 
meet  or  see,  they  get  into  such  a  damnable  rage  I  can 

1  Theodore  Bunsen,  son  of  Baron  and  Baroness  de  Bunsen. 
*  He  wrought  a  painting. 

73 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

hardly  stand  for  laughing.  After  all,  suppose  a  swell 
party  in  London,  say  at  Cambridge  House,  if  any  one 
person  began  to  whistle  furiously  at  all  the  rest, 
wouldn't  they  get  into  a  rage  I  should  like  to  know  ? 

On  the  first  of  the  year  I  was  wishing  you  and 
others  a  happy  (new)  one  and  many  such,  when  lo!  your 
letter  from  Holyhead  of  the  22nd  came,  to  my  great 
pleasure.  I  am  so  glad  you  will  have  been  able  to 
pass  your  Christmas  at  Redhouse.  Stay,  let  me  look 
over  the  epistle,  &  reply  a?  ra  biroia  x  want  comments. 
It  is  (pronounced  strongly  izz)  a  satisfaction  to  talk 
with  you,  &  both  doing  so  &  receiving  your  letters 
does  me  a  great  deal  of  good. 

In  re  Bunsen — the  telegraphic  small  Bunsen  here, 
talks  as  I  never  nevernever  heard  anyone  talk : — 
he  makes  you  long  to  scream. 

I  wish  I  had  studded  with  you  at  Dresden.2  I  quite 
feel  how  that  life  and  your  present  one  seem  like 
that  of  two  persons,  from  having  seen  you  in  Ireland 
I  now  can  understand  all  your  life  pretty  well :  the 
more  analysis  one  brings  to  what  one  is  interested 
in,  the  more  one  not  only  understands  but  gains  by 
the  process, — secondo  ame. 

'O   Moi|0te,   6  TTU^UC  K>)  KaAoe.3 

Reflections  on  daily  life,  etc.  :  what  you  say  to  me 
is  exactly  true,  but  infernally  difficult  to  follow  out, 
i.e.  "That  the  freedom  of  the  inner  man  consists  in 

1  Upon  whatever  matter. 

2  Fortescue  lived  in  Dresden  for  four  months  of  the  winter 
of  1846  to  learn  German. 

3  O  Morier,  big  and  beautiful. 

74 


Corfii 

obedience."  Doubtless  whenever  the  time  comes 
that  a  man  so  willingly  practises  obedience  as  to 
find  no  annoyance  from  the  process,  he  does  so  with 
a  good  will,  &  therefore  a  choice,  &  that  is  freedom. 
For  my  own  part  at  present  I  find  stuffing  every 

a?    ^ 
moment  with  work  the  sole  panace         against  more 

um? 

thought  than  is  good  for  one.  I  only  wish  there 
were  28  hours  in  every  day. 

I  do  not,  sir,  read  the  Testament  now — much — 
leastways  in  Greek : — though  I  could  do  so  with 
pleasure.  But  would  you  believe  it,  I  have  read  the 
death  of  Socrates  &  Plato.  I  was  so  struck  by 
3>ai§ov  that  I  rose  at  night  and  worked  till  I  made 
out  the  last  part  of  it  entirely.  How  is  it  that  the 
thoughts  of  this  wonderful  man  are  kept  darkly  away 
from  the  youths  of  the  age?  (except  they  go  to  the 
universities,  &  then  only  as  matters  of  language  or 
scarcely  more)  because  Socrates  was  a  "Pagan"? 
I  shall  have  more  to  say,  &  think  about,  concerning 
Socrates,  whose  opinion  on  death  I  now  read  for 
the  first  time,  &  there  is  no  harm  in  wishing  that 
we  two  may  some  day  read  Plato  together ;  we  both 
have  much  similar  tendency  to  an  analytical  state  of 
mind  I  think.  Intanto,  my  old  StSomcaXoe  l  persists  in 
keeping  me  in  nXourajoxoc,  &  also  in  Lucian's  dialogues, 
&  won't  hear  of  Plato.  The  former,  Plutarch,  I  hate 
— Lucian  delights  me  as  so  very  absurd  and  new. 

1  Master. 
75 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Dining  at  the  Palace  3  days  ago,  I  sat  next  to 
Sir  J.  after  dinner  &  he  talked  to  me  a  good  deal. 
(His  way  of  talking  of  you  moreover  is  agreable  to 
me.)  His  appreciation  of  Greek  character  is  all  the 
more  near  the  right  one,  inasmuch  as  he  is  longer 
here  :  but  as  you  say  in  your  last,  the  firm  hand  is 
wanted  here,  &  I  add  is  wanting. 

I  stop  my  letter  to  add  what  I  cannot  yet  quite 
realize,  but  what  grieves  me  most  extremely. 
Lushington  writes  in  a  note  that  Mrs.  Cortazzi  has 
just  died  at  Paris.  We  heard  she  was  ill  but  not 
dangerously. 

Poor  Helena,  &  Madeline !  what  will  become  of 
those  poor  girls  ? 

4th.  I  can't  add  much  more  to  this,  my  dear 
boy.  In  so  small  a  place  as  this  one  is  more 
dependent  than  I  had  fancied  on  the  few  one  sees 
and  at  all  cares  for.  The  absence  of  the  Cortazzi  was 
a  blank  in  itself,  but  now  to  know,  that  poor  Mrs.  C. 
died  before  she  saw  her  English  friends !  (She  was  a 
Lancashire  Hornby,  and  first  cousin  of  William 
Hornby  who  married  Sir  Philip's  daughter,)  and 
without  seeing  her  only  son,  is  sad  enough.  Besides 
that,  I  became  interested  enough  about  Helena  to 
feel  for  her  extremely.  As  yet  we  know  no  par- 
ticulars. 

Here  are  10  woodcox,  what  can  I  do  with  them 
all? 

I  must  leave  off,  I  feel  like  5  nutmeg-graters  full  of 
baked  eggshells — so  dry  &  cold  &  miserable. 

76 


Corfa 

CORFU,  loth.  January,  1858. 

I  shall  begin  a  letter  &  let  it  burn  up  gradivally 
like  the  gun-powder  which  they  throw  on  the  fire.  I 
have  been  working  tooth  &  nail  at  Lord  Clermont's 
Athos,  &  am  succeeding  in  making  it  the  best  I  have 
done  of  that  'oly  mounting.  In  the  foregroung  there 
is  a  Nilex  tree,  which  I  take  no  end  of  pains  about, 
and  the  little  woody  dell  will  I  think  be  a  pet  bit  of 
the  picture  with  Lord  C.  It  is  doubtless,  though  still 
to  have  much  added,  a  better  picture  than  the  one  I 
did  at  Redhouse,  but  I  can't  help  that.  The  other  2, 
Mrs.  Empson's  Athos  and  Corfu,  are  also  less  good, 
which  I  am  sorry  for,  but  I  can't  help  either,  for 
naturally  every  successive  piece  of  work  should  be 
better  than  its  foregoer. 

And  I  am  doing  the  bilious  memories  of  StvoQw 
concerning  Socrates,  by  which  I  am  immensely 
interested.  Life  goes  on  here  very  dummily,  : — I 
feel  however,  the  want  of  forcing  myself  to  under- 
take some  work  of  a  tougher,  or  more  difficult 
gnashmyteethupon  nature.  At  the  Palace  I  have 
been  once  or  twice  to  dinner ;  for  to  the  Evening 
Balls  I  can't  &  won't  go.  Lady  Y.  is  always  cer- 
tainly very  kind  in  inviting  one,  a  brute.  Lady 
Headfort  comes  out  each  time  in  new  &  astound- 
ing jewels.  We  get  on  very  well,  having  endless 
topics  of  mutuality-talk,  from  Rosstrevor  &  Lady 
Drogheda,  to  "Virginia  Pattle,"  or  Afghanistan. 
They  "the  court"  (I  suppose  Sir  John  also)  are 
all  off  to  Athens  in  a  fortnight  or  so.  Lady  Y. 

77 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

characteristically  observing  "  I  have  always  wanted 
to  see  the  Ball  room  at  the  Palace,  and  there  are 
to  be  some  fine  fetes."  My !  won't  Queen  Amelia 
be  down  on  them !  for  Sir  John's  profundities  are 
pretty  well  known  there. 

I  am  reminded  that  I  told  you  quite  wrongly  some- 
thing of  the  state  of  feeling  here  as  developed  in 
representation,  nearly  all  the  members  of  this  Island 
are  anti-English,  the  contrary  is  the  case  with  Cepha- 
lonia.  Yet  in  the  main  perhaps  I  was  right,  as  to 
the  greater  general  dislike  to  us  in  the  latter  place. 
Neither  was  I  correct  about  the  Italian  or  Roman 
Catholic  element : — The  Greek  screw  has  been 
allowed  to  be  put  on  so  much  more  strongly,  with 
each  successive  Govt.,  that  every  other  consideration 
is  giving  way  to  a  settled  desire  to  join  Greece,  & 
get  rid  of  English. 

After  these  ozbervations,  which  are  more  temperate 
and  less  triumphiliginous,  than  those  I  last  wrote,  I 
shall  proceed  to  state  that  Shakespear  is  come,  by 
which  assertion  I  do  not  mean  the  author  of  "As 
you  like  it,"  "  Hamlet,"  or  other  popular  drammers, 
but  the  Major  of  that  name  of  the  Royal  Artillery, 
who  used  to  live  over  me,  &  whose  wife  is  one  of 
the  very  nicest,  even  if  not  the  nicest  woman  here. 
They  are  gone  to  live  in  the  Citadel,  next  door  to 
the  General.  The  General  objects  to  the  odour  of 
cooking  generally  &  of  onions  particularly.  Lady 
Buller  has  not  expressed  any  opinion  on  the  subject 
so  far  as  is  publicly  known  : — the  matter  rests  in 

78 


Corfti 

a   state   of  oblique    &    tenacious    obscurity    for    the 
present. 

Last  night  I,  the  Shakespear's,  &  Wyndham,  dined 
with  the  honourable  Edward  &  Arabella  Gage,1  very 
good  people.  We  of  this  Terrace  &  this  part  of  the 
town  chaff  the  Shakespears,  who  now  live  so  far  off, 
and  we  ask  them  to  "set  us  down"  on  their  way  to 
"  Wimbledon."  It  is  but  right  you  should  know  the 
important  life  concerns  of  the  Island,  and  therefore  I 
shall  not  hesitate  to  insert  the  following  facts  before 
I  conclude  this  morning's  scribble.  Madam  Vitalis, 
the  Greek  consul's  wife  has  purchased  a  large  red 
maccaw.  Mrs.  Macfarlane's  female  domestic  has 
fallen  down  stairs,  by  which  precipitate  act  Mrs.  M's 
baby  has  been  killed.  Sir  Gorgeous  Figginson 
Blowing  has  had  an  attack  of  fever.  Colonel 
Campbell  (first  cousin  of  Sir  J.  Simeon,)  dined 
with  Mr.  Lear  the  Artist  on  Thursday.  On  Friday 
that  accomplished  person  entertained  Mr.  Bunsen  & 
Mr.  Justice  Lushington.  Capt.  R.  has  purchased  a 
Cornopeon,  &  practises  on  it,  (Mrs.  G.  invariably 
calls  it  a  cornicopean.)  but  it  is  not  heard  generally, 
on  account  of  the  superior  row  made  by  Mrs.  Vitalis' 
maccaw,  Capt.  P's  howling  dogs,  &  about  400  turkeys 
who  live  at  ease  about  the  terrace  and  adopt  a  remark- 
able gobble  at  certain  periods.  Lady  H[eadfort]  has 
astonished  the  multitude  by  a  pink  satin  dress  stuffed 
with  pearls.  Bye  the  bye  I  heard  rather  a  good  thing 

1  Brother  of  Viscount  Gage  and  a  Colonel  in  the  Royal  Horse 
Artillery.     Married  to  a  cousin,  Miss  Arabella  Gage. 

79 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

yesterday,  Lady  H.  (with  an  aide  de  camp,)  has  been 
"doing"  the  sights  of  Corfu,  &  among  others  the 
churches.  At  the  Greek  Cathedral  a  beggar  came 
and  importuned  the  glittering  Marchioness,  who  at 
the  moment  was  indulging  in  the  natural  &  pleasant 
act  of  sucking  an  orange.  Lady  H.  after  a  time 
paused  &  said  or  implied  "silver  &  gold  have  I 
none,"  but  such  as  she  had,  (being  the  half  sucked 
orange,)  she  politely  gave  the  beggar-woman,  who 
(oranges  being  any  number  for  a  half-penny,)  threw 
the  fruit  in  her  Ladyship's  face,  and  rushed  frantically 
out  of  the  desecrated  edifice. 

Jany.  \%th.  1858. — Hooray!  Here's  a  letter  from 
you  dated  Jany.  6th.  What  a  good  boy  it  is!  I 
shall  post  this  to-morrow  therefore.  The  day  is  so 
cold  that  I  can  hardly  hold  my  pen,  &  feel  that  all 
or  more  than  all  the  population  of  Corfu  will  expire, 
or  become  icicles.  No  such  cold  was  ever  known 
here,  a  keen  east  wind,  the  first  I  have  ever  felt  in 
the  Island.  Snow  on  Salvador : — and  a  great  deal 
of  sad  illness  among  the  natives.  Of  course  the 
Anglo-saxons  rather  like  the  freezing  than  no,  I 
don't,  &  yet  am  well  because  the  air  is  so  pure  I 
suppose.  Mr.  George  Cockles,  my  Suliote,  refuses 
to  write  his  copy.  noToc  finiropii  va  yptyy,  Ktpie,  etc 
rowro  TO  Kpvov.1  But  until  yesterday  we  have  had 
wonderfully  lovely  weather  &  never  yet  any  rain 
to  speak  of,  sun  nearly  ever.  To-day,  however,  all 
is  gray  and  ugly.  With  your  letter  came  a  letter 

1  How  did  you  travel  or  paint  in  this  cold  weather  ? 
80 


Corfii 

from  sister  Ann,  who  was  67  yesterday,  I  am  sorry 
to  say. 

While  I  think  of  it  here  are  two  anecdotes,  this 
time  from  the  Citadel.  Colonel  Campbell  has  a 
celebrated  horse,  a  stallion,  called  "  Billy."  I  hate 
the  sight  of  him  myself,  in  as  much  as  he  bites  and 
kicks  whoever  he  can.  The  other  day  being  loose, 
and  seeing  a  helpless  horse  in  a  cart,  he  pounced  on 
him  and  began  to  oppress  him  horribly,  the  two 
making  any  amount  of  row.  This  happened  oppo- 
site Lady  Buller's  window,  whereon  the  lady  being 
of  a  tender-heart  and  a  decided  manner,  opened  the 
window  &  called  out,  Sentinel !  (Sentinel  shouldered 
&  presented  arms)  "  Shoot  the  horse  directly," 
(Sentinel  looks  horribly  bewildered  but  does  nothing) 
"  Why  don't  you  shoot  it " !  (S)  "  Lord  Madam !  its 
Billy!"  Lady  B.  "What's  Billy?  what  do  I  care 
for  Billy?  shoot  it  I  say."  (Billy  all  the  time 
tearing  &  biting  the  prostrate  victim  horse.)  Sen- 
tinel "  Can't  nohow  madam  my  lady,  cause  its  the 
Colonel's  Billy."  Here  the  General  Sir  J.  came  up 
&  tranquillized  the  agitated  nerves,  of  lady,  sentinel, 
&  both  horses. 

Another  anecdote  is  that  Sir  Henry  Holland l 
being  here,  &  dining  at  the  General's : — Lady  B. 
said  promiscuously,  "  Sir  Henry  in  all  your  travels 
were  you  ever  in  Albania?"  Can't  you  fancy  Sir 

1  Physician  to  William  IV.,  Queen  Victoria,  and  Prince 
Albert.  Author  of  "  Travels  in  the  Ionian  Islands,  Albania, 
Thessaly,  Macedonia,"  1815. 

81  G 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Henry's  smile  &  quiet: — "Why,  Lady  Duller,  I 
wrote  a  book  on  Albania,  because  I  happened  to  be 
there  as  Physician  to  AH  Pasha  in  1812  &  1813." 

I  think  there  are  no  more  anecdotes,  but,  (as 
Ollendorf  may  say)  there  is  much  ice  &  innumerable 
woodcox.  They  say  old  Nassau  Senior I  is  coming 
to  Athens,  also  General  Fox2  is  reported  to  be  at 
hand.  All  last  week  my  At&uvaAoc  has  not  been  to 
me  his  only  child  being  about,  I  fear,  to  die :  he  has 
lost  4  before,  poor  man.  So  I  shall  poke  on  alone 
in  Plato  &  E&voQwvS  &  wish  you  were  here  to  help 
me. — To-day  all  the  Palace  folk  were  to  come,  but 
Lady  Y.  is  unwell,  &  could  not.  I  dine  there 
to-night,  if  I  don't  die  of  the  cold  first.  Patrick 
Talbot  is  here,  whom  I  like.  As  yet  I  do  not 
hear  anything  certain  about  Jaffa  &  the  rotten 
Arribs : — but  I  shall  do  so  before  long.  We, 
intanto,  abound  in  turkeys  this  year,  the  whole 
country  is  black  with  them,  and  a  sound  of  gobbling 
pervades  the  Corcyrean  air. 

My  friend  Miss  Dennett  must  have  had  a  sad  shock 
by  Lord  Spencer's  sudden  death.4  Everyone  should 

1  Author  of  u  Journals  Kept  in  France  and  Italy  from  1848  to 
1852,"  "Conversations  with  M.  Thiers,  Guizot,  and  other  Distin- 
guished Persons  during  the  Second  Empire,"  &c.,  &c. 

2  A  natural  son  of  the  third  Lord  Holland.     Had  the  finest 
private  collection  of  Greek  coins  in  the  world,  purchased  by  the 
Royal  Museum  at  Berlin,  1873.  3  Xenophon. 

*  The  fourth  Earl.  Fought  at  Navarino,  1827  ;  afterwards 
Vice-Admiral  on  the  reserve  list.  Steward  of  Her  Majesty's 
Household,  1854-57,  &c->  &c- 

82 


Corfu 

know  that  so  high  was  his  esteem  for  Miss  D.  (who 
brought  up  his  two  daughters,  and  was  much  with 
Lady  S.  at  last)  that  he  settled  an  income  of  ^200 
per  annum  on  her  for  life.  Let  me  look  over  your 
letter  &  see  if  anything  wants  replying  to.  I  was 
enormously  delighted  with  it,  because  being  morbid, 
I  fancied  I  might  have  written  too  violently  in  my 
last  but  one.  (I  remember  calling  Mr.  Labouchere 
a  muff  a  dummy  &c.,)  but  one  gets  angry  sometimes. 
The  fortifications  go  on,  and  the  blasted  bartizan 
before  my  windows  will  improve  the  landscape  by 
being  blown  up.  You  are  very  kind  to  have 
thought  &  written  to  Lady  W.  as  you  did  about 
me.  I  assure  you,  your  active  and  living  sympathy 
is  of  value  to  me  here  not  to  be  expressed.  Dear 
good  Mr.  Clark  came  here  two  days  ago,  seeing  I 
have  not  been  at  church,  but  he  never  said  a  word 
about  it.  He  is  really  a  good  man  spite  of  the 
Dogmas  &  Catechisms.  Yesterday  I  went  like  a 
good  boy  and  he  preached  a  sermon  from  "be  not 
slothful  in  business "  etc.  hardly  to  be  surpassed. 
He  might  be  split  into  fifteen  Bishops. 

I  can't  write  any  more  now,  but  will  try  when  I 
come  home  from  the  Palace,  to  finish  this.  Mean- 
while, I  must  go  &  try  &  birculate  my  clood,  by  a 
rard  hun  on  the  righ  hoad. 

upee  hem  : — I've  just  come  from  the  Palace,  where 
the  dinner  was  agreeable  enough.  I  sat  next  Lady 
Young,  &  Miss  Eisenbach,  the  Austrian  Consul's 
daughter,  and  opposite  poor  Lady  Emily  Kozziris  : 

83 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

certainly  her  husband  is  a  stunner  of  a  misery-bore. 
Then  there  were  Col.  and  the  pretty  Mrs.  Herbert, 
Miss  Erskine,  Miss  Murray,  the  live  Markis  and 
March83,  old  Eisenbach,  Capts.  Furville,  &  Churchill 
A.D.C's.  Nautical  Capt.  Bromley,1  Dr.  Evans,  & 
the  landscape  painter.  Certes !  Lady  Y.  is  a  singular 
woman,  no  end  of  talents  of  a  sort,  but  rayther  "pro- 
nonce'e."  Her  singing  is  sometimes  wonderfully 
good.  Old  Lord  Headfort  persisted  in  supposing 
Miss  Eisenbach  my  daughter — why,  I  can't  conceive  : 
I  wish  she  were  :  but  I'm  glad  she  ain't  my  wife. 

So  I  came  moam  &  rote  this.  Alack  my  dear  Sir 
John  : — you  lack  some  things.  They  are  going  to 
England  this  year  I  find. 

I  meant  to  have  written  a  lot  about  the  priests  & 
signori,  and  the  good  peasantry,  &  the  orange-trees, 
and  sea-gulls,  and  geraniums,  &  the  Ionian  Ball,  & 
Jerusalem  Artichokes,  &  Colonel  Paterson,  &  old 
Dandolo's  palm-tree,  &  my  spectacles  and  the  East- 
wind,  &  Zambelli's  nasty  little  dogs,2  &  fishermen,  & 
Scarpe's  cats,  &  whatnot,  but  I  am  too  sleepy. 

CORFU.    Feb.  i.  1858. 

I  shall  send  a  little  letter  to-day,  as  the  time  draws 
nearer  for  going  eastward,  so  that  if  possible  I  may 
get  still  one  line  from  you  before  I  start. 

I  cannot  tell  you  much  of  anything  at  present,  & 

1  Afterwards  Sir  Richard  Madox-Bromley,  at  this  time 
Accountant-General  of  the  Navy. 

-  Mr.  Lear  detested  and  feared  dogs  and  they  seemed  to 
dislike  him. 

84 


Corfu 

besides  that  I  am  full  of  little  fussy  letters  &  bother- 
ing's,  I  am  so  cold,  as  to  be  half-dead.  No  such 

o    ' 

winter  has  ever  been  known  here,  &  last  night 
Lushington  who  dined  here  was  glad,  as  was  I,  to 
wrap  ourselves  in  Railway  rugs  as  we  sat  on  each 
side  of  the  fire. 

While  I  write  the  post  comes,  &  one  letter  contains 
a  bit  I  will  transcribe,  as  I  know  it  will  please  you  as 

it  does  me.  "  When  Lady  Waldegrave  came  to , 

I  met  her  in  a  spirit  of  prejudice  &  ignorance, — but  I 
recovered  from  that  while  she  staid  &  made  herself 
known.  She  certainly  is  one  of  the  most  remark- 
able characters  of  the  day,  which  few  give  her  credit 
for  being,  at  least  none  who  know  her  superficially." 

Well  I  wish  I  were  at  Redhouse  and  you  reading 
me  the  diary  in  the  small  Jam  studio  : — or  walking  up 
&  down  the  long  walk  with  or  without  Chi,  the  per- 
spective struggling  milkly  enthusiastic  calves  afar  off — 
the  Million1  remotely  seen  in  the  far  background.  I 
shall  write  to  you  from  Jerusalem.  Goodbye  my  dear 
4oscue.  Remember  if  I  die  you  are  to  choose  a  book 
from  my  books : — B.  Husey-Hunt,  &  W.  Holman 
Hunt  are  my  executors."2 

1  Mrs.  Ruxton's  companion,  so  called  because  she  was  "  one 
in  a  million." 

2  The  well-known  artist  and  another  intimate  friend  of  Lear's. 
Amusing  remembrances  of  his  first  meeting  with  Lear  are  told  in 
Mr.  Holman  Hunt's  Memoires. 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Fortescue  to  Lear. 

RED  HOUSE, 

Thursday  night,  4  Feby.  '58 

...  I  shall  get  Beaumont's  book  and  "  insense " 
my  Lady  about  Masada.  She  has  been  surrounded 
by  French  Royalties  and  English  Dookes  etc.  etc. 
What  a  contrast  to  my  life  here !  The  brilliant 
crowd  of  her  friends — many  of  them  very  intimate — 
is  terrifying.  I  feel  sometimes  as  if  I  should  not 
be  able  to  reach  her  through  the  throng — or  to  see 
her  quietly.  But  I  must  hope  it  will  not  prove 
so.  ..."  So  runs  the  round  of  life !  " 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

13  Feb.  1858 

Slowly  goes  on  the  Indian  horror,  (beg  pardon 
the  "mutiny")  what  is  John  Hamilton  about?  It 
does  not  quite  seem  to  me  that  "all  will  be  quite 
settled  in  a  month  or  two,"  as  the  Times  said  a 
long  while  back.  I  hope  I  shall  hear  from  you  before 
I  go,  but  I  hardly  think  I  can  get  any  letter  if  you 
have  not  yet  written. 

Regarding  mylady,  courage  and  quiet :  if  you  do 
not  light  on  bright  times  it  seems  strange :  some 
day  or  other.  Let  me  know  always  how  you  go  on. 

Now  mind,  write  if  you  can,  I  will  write  once 
more  before  I  go.  Confound  the  Cats ! 

Febry.  27,  1858. 

Your  letter  of  the  iQth.  has  just  come,  &  is  one 
of  the  nicest  of  the  many  you  have  written  since  I 

86 


Corfa 

left  England.  I  shall  sit  down  and  answer  it  at 
once,  &  this  time  I  won't  be  hirritated  if  I  can  help 
it.  I  vex  myself  often  after  I  send  off  hastily 
written  letters.  However,  you  are  so  very  just  as 
well  as  kind  in  weighing  my  ways  and  doings,  that 
I  am  not  afraid  of  having  vexed  you  much.  In  this 
infernal  hole  of  a  place,  so  little  novelty  occurs  that 
some  small  worry  constantly  friddles  ones  temper. 
You  aint  "  red  tape  "  and  you  can't  help  the  state 
of  things  :  whereby  I  recant  my  osbervations. 

I  am  sorry  you  were  so  beastly  unwell,  not  but 
that  a  good  routing  may  do  good,  and  still  more 
sorry  about  Mrs.  Urquhart's  child.1 

I  shall  write  to  you  from  Jerusalem,  &  to  Lady 
W.  as  soon  as  I  have  returned  from  Masada : —  It 
was  Miss  Dennett  who  wrote  that : 2  I  knew  you 
would  like  it — you  do  not  say  you  have  seen  her, 
Lady  W.  since  your  return.  Tell  her  I  shall  take 
great  pains  about  her  views,  if  she  asks  about  my 
going.  I  think  her  Sunset  must  be  from  Scopus. 
(Bye  the  bye,  I  have  been  reading  a  good  deal, 
my  old  teacher  being  quite  knocked  up,  so  that  I 
have  had  but  2  months  of  Greek  lessons  out  of  the 
last  12. — Finlay's  5  volumes  of  Greece  are  admirable. 
Try  to  get  Gambinis  pamphlet  on  the  Jews.  I  have 

1  In  this  letter  of  the  I9th,  Fortescue  says  :  "  While  in  bed 
received  a  summons  from  my  sister  to  go  down  to  her  instantly, 
she  having  lost  her  little  boy." 

2  The  passage  with  reference  to   Lady  Waldegrave  in  the 
previous  letter, 

87 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

just  read  Paul  Ferrol  a  very  nasty  odious  book. 
Lady  Duller  lent  it  to  me.  She  is  a  very  nice 
woman,  I  dined  there  two  days  ago  for  the  first 
time,  and  was  really  pleased.  Everyone  seems  to 
like  her.  As  for  Lady  Y.  she  has  been  a  flouncing 
off  to  Egina  with  the  K[ing]  of  G[reece]  &  the 
whole  Palace  party  are  not  yet  returned. 

I  shall  long  to  hear  from  you  in  the  Holy  Land. 
Clowes  I  has  written  but  does  not  come  : — &  so  I  go 
alone,  &  perhaps  it  is  better.  There  are  but  few  I 
could  travel  with  &  yet  keep  my  own  thread  of 
thoughts  unwispy  &  unentangled.  The  journey  to 
Palestine  will  give  one  really  a  great  deal  to  think 
of  in  many  ways.  Sir  J.  Reid  says  I  must  do  a 
large  Jerusalem  and  get  Sir  Moses  M.  or  Rothschild 
to  buy  it.  Now  I  finish  3  Al  'iabets  for  children — 
and  so  get  pretty  wearied  at  end  of  the  week.  O ! 
for  a  quiet  passage !  And  again  ditto  from  Alexda. 
to  Jaffa !  I  shall  leave  off  now,  &  wind  up. 

The  following  letter  refers  to  the  overthrow 
of  Lord  Palmerston's  Ministry  in  February, 
1858.  The  Bill  to  amend  the  Law  of  Con- 
spiracy, brought  in  by  the  Prime  Minister 
in  consequence  of  Orsini's  attempt  to 
assassinate  the  Emperor  of  the  French,  was 
the  cause  of  the  Government's  defeat.  Lord 

1  F.  Clowes  was  a  godson  of  Lear's,  I  think.     He  was  some 
relation  of  the  Lancashire  Hornbys  and  in  the  8th  Hussars, 

88 


Corfti 

Stanley  became  Colonial  Secretary,  but  a 
little  later  was  appointed  Secretary  of  State 
for  India,  when  Sir  E.  Bulwer  Lytton  took 
his  place. 

For  fescue  to  Lear. 

ST.  JAMES'  PLACE, 

Sunday,  February  28  1858 

What  events  have  happened  since  I  wrote  last  ! 
Here  I  am  out  of  office — no  more  "  red  tape  "  for 
the  present.  I  wound  up  at  the  C.O.  on  Friday — 
bid  goodbye  to  Merivale  and  Co.  and  had  a  great 
many  flattering  and  pleasant  things  said  to  me. 
Merivale  was  just  going  to  telegraph  the  news  to 
Malta  and  Corfu — so  that  you  no  doubt  know  that 
Lord  Stanley  is  Secretary  of  State  for  the  Colonies, 
after  having  held  out  for  some  days  against  taking 
office  in  a  Government  with  which  he  can  feel  very 
little  agreement.  He  is  in  a  false  position  privately 
and  publickly. 

I  do  not  take  these  political  events  to  heart,  but 
I  am  sorry  for  what  has  happened.  .  .  .  These  people 
will  very  probably  not  last  long,  but  they  may  survive 
upon  the  dissensions  of  their  opponents — If  those  were 
to  be  made  up — particularly  the  matter  of  Palmerston 
and  Russell,  they  would  go  at  once — or  at  all  events 
would  dissolve  and  then  go.  .  .  .  Palmerston  has 
greatly  mismanaged  the  French  affair.  I  believe  he 
was  spoilt  by  success,  and  had  become  overbearing 
and  rash.  At  the  same  time,  substantially  I  think 

$9 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

he's  right,  in  endeavouring  to  strengthen  the  law  of 
Conspiracy  to  Murder,  in  order  to  give  some  pro- 
tection to  our  ally  the  Emperor — or  at  least  to  show 
that  we  would  not  have  the  "  right  of  asylum "  so 
abused,  if  we  could  help  it,  while  maintaining  the 
right  for  all  peaceful  refugees.  Lord  Derby,  D' Israeli 
etc.  had  espoused  the  same  opinion  in  the  strongest 
way,  and  I  think  their  joining  with  Milner  Gibson  to 
defeat  the  Government  was  a  most  inconsistent  and 
dishonest  party  move,  but  they  were  unable  to  "resist 
the  temptation."  .  .  . 

I  dined  at  Lansdowne  House  last  night — a  great 
dinner  ...  I  got  next  Lady  W.  who  dined  there — 
in  wonderful  beauty  and  force.  Then  went  to  a  small 
party  at  poor  G.  Palmerston's — he  looking  low. 


Lear  to  Fortescue. 
On  Pistol  shooting,  Liars,  and  other  subjects, 

CORFU,  March  9.  1858. 

It  is  particularly  kind  of  you  to  have  written  this 
last — (date  Sunday  28th — )  which  I  got  yesterday. 
All  your  letters  are  so  like  yourself — so  even  & 
clear  &  regular.  I  have  been  thinking  a  great  deal 
about  you  since  this  break  up,  which  I  believe  would 
have  come  somehow  or  other,  French  matter  or  not. 
That  was  the  tree  or  steeple  which  drew  down  the 
lightening  storm,  but  the  storm  was  all  ready  to  burst 
somewhere,  for  sometime  past.  I  had  heard  enough 

90 


Corfti 

of  Lord  P  [almerston]  latterly,  to  expect  it : — and  his 
own  altered  public  &  private  manner,  the  gross  error 
of  Lord  Clanricarde's  readmission  and  other  things, 
were  but  forerunners  of  a  crash ;  but  I  wholly  agree 
with  you  in  every  word  you  write.  The  combination 
is  odious,  &  with  all  respect  to  my  friend  &  patron,  he 
is  not  the  man  to  be  a  leader  of  England  for  any  long 
period.  I  cannot  conceive  how  he  can  like  to  be  in 
power  on  such  terms.  For  Lord  Stanley  I  am  vexed, 
for  as  you  say  he  cannot  really  unite  with  those  from 
whom  he  differs  so  much.  Pakington  *  I  suppose 
accepted.  What  sort  of  a  man  is  Lord  Carnarvon  ? 
I  believe  Lord  John  will  be  in  tho'  perhaps  not 
Premier,  before  6  months  are  out. 

In  the  mean  time  don't  you  drop  habits  of  study  & 
business,  but  keep  them  up  all  the  more.  Make  your- 
self master  of  anything  Colonial.  The  compliments 
and  pleasant  things  said  are  but  what  was  your  due,  not 
only  for  your  strict  attention  to  routine  of  business, 
but  for  your  earnest  wish  to  do  what  was  right, 
tho'  you  had  not  much  power  in  your  hands.  Give 
my  love  to  the  late  Mr.  Labouchere,  &  say  he's 
a  miserable  muff.  Also  to  Mr.  Merivale  &  say  he  is 
either  dishonest  or  stupid.  Thank  God  you  so  far 
as  you  have  gone  in  public  life  are  as  white  as  a 
Jerusalem  artichoke,  and  I  believe  you  will  always 
keep  so. — Tell  both  of  them  they  are  no  better  than 
they  should  be  ! 

The  Palace  party  are  come  back,  they  had  horrid 
1  He  became  First  Lord  of  the  Admiralty. 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

weather  &  an  Earthquake.  Corinth  is  totally  ruined, 
not  one  single  house  habitable.  People  all  fled. 
Vialimachi  down  flat  on  the  ground.  These  earth- 
quakes are  dreadful.  Boyle,  who  has  just  come 
back  from  Naples,  fills  us  with  horrors!  Amalfi, 
Sorrento  and  such  lists  of  old  lovely  places,  all  gone  ! 
down  on  the  earth,  and  every  inhabitant  killed  or 
maimed. 

O !  here  is  a  bit  of  queerness  in  my  life.  Brought 
up  by  women — &  badly  besides — &  ill  always,  I  never 
had  any  chance  of  manly  improvement  &  exercise, 
etc. — and  never  touched  firearms  in  all  my  days — But 


you  can't  do  work  at  the  Dead  Sea  without  them.  So 
Lushington,  who  is  always  vy  kind  and  good — makes 
me  take  a  5-barelled  revolver,  &  I  have  been  prac- 
tising shooting  at  a  mark  (I  can  hardly  write  for 
laughing),  &  have  learned  all  the  occult  nature  of 

92 


Corfti 

pistols.  Don't  grin.  My  progress  is  slow — but  always 
(I  trust)  somewhat.  At  103  I  may  marry  possibly. 
Goodbye  dear  4oscue. 

Yrs.  affectionately, 

EDWARD  LEAR. 

I've  left  you  all  Leeke's  Greece,  in  case  of  my  being 
devoured  by  Arabs  or  fever. 


93 


CHAPTER  IV 
April  to  November,   1858 

PALESTINE,    CORFtJ,    AND   ENGLAND 

ON  the  1 3th  of  March,  1858,  Lear  set  out 
for  his  long-projected  visit  to  Jerusalem, 
accompanied   by  his  servant,   George    Kokali. 
Arriving  there  on  the  27th,  he  writes : 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

JERUSALEM,  April  ist.  1858. 

DEAR  4OSCUE, — During  my  stay  here  this  the 
5th.,  day,  every  moment  has  been  occupied,  or  rather 
fussed  away  : — writing  a  long  letter  to  my  sister,  & 
a  short  line  to  Lushington,  walking  all  about  the 
neighbouring  hills,  to  understand  its  most  pictural 
points, — endless  interviews  with  interminable  Drago- 
men, besides  the  hourly  distraction  of  a  public  Hotel 
chok  full  of  people,  &  the  overcrowded  state  of  the 
streets,  all  this  will  give  you  some  idea  of  the  land- 
scape painters  state  of  body  &  mind. 

Leaving  Corfu   on    the    i3th.    or   rather  i4th.    of 

94 


Palestine,  Corfu,  and  England 

March,  a  decent  voyage  brought  me  to  Alexandria 
on  the  1 7th,  too  late  for  the  French  Jaffa  steamer 
by  one  day.  So  I  passed  5  days  in  a  trip  to  Cairo, 
which  I  greatly  wish  you  could  see  some  day,  & 
renewing  delightful  impressions  of  the  Pyramids, 
Caliph's  tombs,  Heliopolis,  &c.,  &c.  Returning  to 
Alexandria  on  the  23rd,  I  sailed  on  the  25th.  in  the 
Austrian  Jaffa  steamer,  in  which  the  crowds  of  clean  & 
dirty,  high  &  low  pilgrims  was  a  wonder,  and  you  may 
suppose  its  combinations  to  some  extent,  when  I  tell 
you  that  20  different  languages  were  spoken  on 
board.  Most  happily  the  voyage  was  fine,  or  I  can't 
tell  you  what  we  must  have  suffered. 

At  Jaffa  we  arrived  on  the  26th.  at  noon,  but 
owing  to  the  immense  crowd  of  Eastern  pilgrims,  the 
landing  &  getting  under  way  were  most  difficult 
matters,  &  had  it  not  been  for  Arthur  Stanley's 
Dragoman,  I  do  not  know  how  I  could  have  got  on. 
By  3,  p.m.  we  were  off,  loaded  &  mounted  for 
Ramleh,  where  we  slept,  or  rather  stopped  that  night. 
The  way  thither  is  through  one  almighty  green  lovely 
corn-field,  perfectly  delicious  at  every  time  of  day,  and 
not  at  all  unlike  many  parts  of  the  Roman  Campagna ; 
though  more  resembling  the  southern  plains  of  Sicily, 
particularly  in  the  long  unbroken  line  of  blue-lilac 
hills,  poetically  the  "  frowning  mountains  of  Judah," 
though  I  could  not  see  any  justice  in  the  term  so 
applied  to  them.  From  Ramleh  the  same  cheery 
plain  of  corn  extends  to  the  foot  of  these  hills,  &  you 
then  ascend  through  shrubby  &  stony  &  olive  planted 

95 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

passes,  up  &  down,  (though  always  upper  not  downer) 
till  about  the  8th  hour  after  leaving  the  aforesaid 
Ramleh,  you  find  yourself  toiling  up  a  steep  &  bare 
rocky  hill-side,  at  the  top  of  which  an  undulating 
level  of  rather  wearisome  duration  brings  you  in  sight 
of  the  western  walls  of  the  Holy  City. 

The  Holy  City  itself  is  just  now  in  a  most  odious 
state  of  suffocation  &  crowding,  this  one  week  uniting 
all  sorts  of  creeds  &  people  in  a  disagreeable  hodge- 
podge of  curiosity  &  piety.  Lucky  it  was  for  me  to 
get  even  the  last  single  room  &  one  for  my  servant, 
and  that  day  I  was  content  to  give  up  struggling 
through  the  fearfully  thronged  hustle-streets,  &  after 
a  tabledhote  dinner  was  glad  to  be  thankful  &  sleep 
at  Jerusalem,  which  I  had  so  long  wished  to  see.  On 
Sunday  28th,  service  in  our  church  was  a  real  pleasure 
— well  arranged,  simple  &  good  in  all  respects,  and  the 
more  to  find  the  preacher  an  old  friend,  son  of  Ralph 
Barnes  the  Bp.  of  Exeter's  Secy.  Afterwards  my 
delight  in  going,  (on  Palm  Sunday  too,)  to  the  Mount 
of  Olives  you  can  imagine.  But  the  immense  beauty 
of  the  environs  of  Jerusalem  you  cannot  nor  could  I 
before  I  saw  it.  Independently  of  the  grandeur  of  the 
position  of  this  wonderful  place,  &  the  claim  every 
part  of  its  walls  &  buildings,  has  on  the  Xtian  as  well 
as  the  observer  of  general  history  &  antiquity,  most  of 
the  vallies  of  Johosaphat  &  Himmon  abound  in 
beautiful  quiet  scenes,  wholly  unexpected  by  me  as 
part  &  parcel  of  Judean  Landscape : — Then  the 
ancient  tombs  cut  in  the  rock,  the  innumerable  flat 

96 


Palestine,  Corfu,  and  England 

ones,  the  scattered  olives,  (not  fine  as  at  Corfu  but 
pollardy,)  the  constantly  varying  beauty  of  the  Mount 
of  Olives,  the  realities  of  Siloam,  Zion  &c.  and  the 
very  ancient  traditional  sites  of  Gethsemane  &c  &c 
&c.,  keep  you  constantly  alive  to  the  fresh  interest 
that  awaits  you  at  every  step.  I  had  not  the  slightest 
idea  of  the  amount  of  wonder  &  admiration  the  walks 
hereabout  must  call  up,  in  all  thinking  visitors. 

Meanwhile,  I  am  off  now  to  Bethlehem  &  Hebron 
in  a  few  hours  :  too  glad  to  get  to  some  quiet  from 
this  noisy  place.  Thence  I  go  by  the  Dead  Sea  to 
Sebbeh,  (Masada)  Engedi,  Mar  Saba,  &  Jericho,  & 
possibly  beyond  the  Jordan,  returning  here  for  a 
fortnight  or  3  weeks.1 

Lear  to  Lady  Waldegrave. 

DAMASCUS,  27* h  May.  1858. 

I  had  thought  of  writing  to  you  long  ago,  to  tell 
you  what  I  had  done  by  way  of  trying  to  fulfil  the 
commissions  you  kindly  gave  me ;  but  the  difficulties 
of  sending  anything  like  a  letter  "  while  I  am  on  the 
road  "  in  these  countries,  are  not  to  be  told.  At  least 
they  are  great  to  me,  who  am  always  unable  to  write 
by  candle-light;  and  the  early  morning  is  snatched 
for  moving  forward,  while  mid-day  heat  &  weariness 
put  a  veto  on  all  labour,  but  that  of  catching  &  flap- 
ping away  flies.  And  when  in  Hotels,  (in  the  very 

1  A  scarcity  of  letters  at  this  period,  will  be  explained  by  the 
following  paragraph  :  "  I  have  told  Ann  [his  sister]  to  send  you 
my  letters,  &  you  will  post  them  to  the  address  you  will  obtain." 

97  H 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

few  spots  where  such  houses  exist)  there  are  so  many 
things  to  look  after  and  look  at,  &  so  much  re- 
arrangement for  the  next  journey,  that  the  time  for  a 
real  sitting  down  for  letter  writing  never  seems  to 


. '•"*<. 


come.  To-day  the  Syrian  Haj  takes  its  departure 
for  Mecca,  and  as  there  is  no  chance  of  drawing 
anywhere  out  of  doors,  along  of  the  excitement  of  the 
pious  Moslem  mind,  which  finds  a  safety  valve  in 
throwing  stones  at  Nazrani,  I  shall  remain  here  and 
fill  a  sheet,  if  not  two,  which  may  reach  you  to  amuse 
an  hour  or  two  of  your  leisure  some  fortnight 

hence. 

My  stay  in  Jerusalem  or 
rather  opposite  the  City, — for 
I  pitched  my  tents  on  the 
Mount  of  Olives  when  I  had 
ascertained  the  point  I  thought  you  would  like  best  for 
your  picture,  was  the  most  complete  portion  of  my 
tour :  i.e.  I  was  able  to  attend  thoroughly,  and  to  the 
best  of  my  ability  to  what  I  was  doing,  in  peace  & 

98 


Palestine,  Corfii,  and  England 

quiet :  whereas  much  of  the  rest  of  my  Palestine 
journey  has  been  toiled  through  under  far  other 
circumstances. 

After  describing  at  great  length  the  reasons 
which  led  him  to  select  a  north-east  view  of 


"~~  ""~"  "••      '"-' 


*          "~ 


the  city  for  Lady  Waldegrave's  picture,  illus- 
trated by  various  little  sketches  reproduced 
here,  he  continues  : — 

And  now  what  shall  I  say  on  the  subject  of  the 
companion  painting?  One  of  the  most  remarkable  as 
well  as  of  the  most  picturesque  studies,  I  have 


obtained,  is  of  Sebbeh,  or  Masada,  the  history  of 
which  you  will  find  in  ?  Translation  of  Josephus. 
This  was  one  of  the  places  I  so  much  wished  to  visit 
&  one  which  I  am  so  pleased  at  having  drawings  of. 
It  is  like  this  somewhat,  only  I  cannot  give  here  what 
only  detail  &  colour  can  produce.  The  great  depth 

99 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

of  the  ravine  below.  A.  is  the  Dead  Sea  : — B.  is  the 
line  of  Moab  mountains.  This  scene,  as  that  of  the 
last  Jewish  struggle  for  freedom  against  Rome,  would 
I  think  be  a  very  excellent  subject  in  its  way,  but 


MASADA. 


in  case  you  should  not  like  this  there  is  Hebron, 
which  is  very  particularly  a  Hewbrew  antiquity,  &  is 
besides  sufficiently  picturesque  to  form  a  good  picture  : 
though  why  Abraham  choose  to  live  there  I  cannot 
think  :  I  found  it  abominably  cold  &  wet,  &  besides, 
they  threw  stones  at  me  whenever  I  drew,  so  that 
I  wished  the  whole  population  in  Abraham's  bosom  or 
elsewhere  20  times  a  day. 


Another  subject  which  is  astonishingly  grand  is  Petra. 
(Not  that  I  can  ever  see  the  sketch  without  feeling 
my  ears  tingle  at  the  memory  of  the  filthy  Arab 
savages.)  Petra  was  the  capital  of  the  Nabathcean 

100 


Palestine,  Corfu,  and  England 

(or  Idumcean)  Kings,  who  reigned  in  Jerusalem  as 
Herods,  &  it  was  one  of  them  who  built  Masada. 
The  magnificence  of  Petra  is  not  to  be  told,  I  mean 
the  magnificence  of  combined  ruin,  splendour  of 


sepulchral  architecture  and  excavated  temples,  united 
to  the  most  romantic  mountain  or  rock  scenery  &  the 
most  beautiful  vegetation. 

At  present  the  heat  is  getting  too  great  to  allow 
of  my  drawing  much,  &  also  the  country  is  in  such  a 
state  that  many  places  can  only  be  visited  at  the 
risk  of  robbery  &c.,  even  if  the  traveller  goes  over 


the  ground  as  rapidly  as  possibly.  So  travelling, — 
he  may  escape  outrage,  but  with  me,  that  mode  of 
progress  is  useless  : — I  must  stop  often  and  for 
a  considerable  time,  so  that  it  is  not  easy  to  escape 

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Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

those  odious  Arabs.  The  whole  plain  of  Eisdrcelon 
for  instance  swarms  with  them,  &  they  attack  all 
passengers.  Of  known  names  Lord  Dunglas,1  Col. 
Cust,  Sir  J.  Fergusson2  &  of  unknown  names, 
numbers  have  been  stopped : — and  lately  many 
Americans  have  been  robbed  &  some  murdered, 
which  in  one  sense  is  a  very  good  thing,  since  I  do 
not  understand  that  the  American  Govt.,  think 
proper  to  uphold  the  fiction  of  Turkish  renovation, 
&  instead  of  being  compelled  to  pooh-pooh  the 
entirely  dislocated  state  of  all  order  in  Palestine  & 
Syria,  they  will  it  is  to  be  hoped  get  riled  and  act 
accordingly.  If  it  were  not  shocking,  the  fate  of 
one  large  American  party  near  Nazareth  is  beyond 
belief  absurd : — the  Arabs  actually  went  off  with 
all  but  one  large  blanket,  of  which  Mr.  &  Mrs. 
T.  made  two  garments  &  therein  rode  to  the  town. 
Some  revenge  was  probably  mixed  up  in  the  case, 
on  the  part  of  some  Arab  it  is  said  they  had 
threatened ;  for  they  took  every  book  &  drawing, 
&  paper,  &  even  Mrs.  T.'s  wig  &  spectacles.  Of 
Dr.  Beattie's-3  party  10  days  ago,  the  ill-fortune  was 
as  great  or  even  greater : — they  were  setting  out 
for  America,  but  these  animals  took  all  their  treasures, 
not  only  clothes,  but  books,  collections  of  plants  &c., 

1  Eldest  son  of  the  Earl  of  Home. 

2  At  this  time  Governor  of  Malta. 

3  Foreign  Secretary   to    the    British  Archaeological  Society. 
He  had  been  Physician  and  Private  Secretary  to  the  Duke  of 
Clarence. 

1 02 


Palestine,  Corfu,  and  England 

things  of  no  use  to  them,  but  I  believe  taken  as 
diversions  for  their  nasty  little  beastly  black 
children. 

Of  my  own  mishaps  at  Petra  you  perhaps  have 
heard ;  how  about  200  of  them  came  down  on  me, 
and  every-thing  which  could  be  divided  they  took. 
My  watch  they  returned  to  me,  but  all  money, 
handkerchiefs,  knives,  &c.,  &c.,  were  confiscated. 
Since  then  my  2  muleteers,  whom  I  sent  by  land 
from  Jaffa  to  Beirut  were  robbed  of  their  little  all 
by  the  way,  &  one  might  add  others.  But,  cui  bono ! 
English  people  must  submit  to  these  things,  because 
we  have  no  influence  in  Syria  or  Palestine,  nor  in  the 
East  generally.  I  should  like  to  hear  of  a  French 
party  being  stopped  or  murdered  !  !  The  Arabs 
(&  Turks)  know  too  well  that  neither  French  nor 
Austrians  can  be  touched  with  impunity. 

The  time  is  evidently  near  at  hand  when  all  the 
country  will  be  a  field  of  dispute  for  Latin  &  Greek 
factions  once  more,  and  the  most  miserable  Jerusalem 
once  again  the  bone  of  contention.  If  on  the  one 
hand  the  Latin  Patriarch  is  building  a  great  Palace 
&  Convent  near  Bethlehem,  and  the  Austrians  are 
raising  a  splendid  "  Hospital "  (a  sort  of  Knight 
Templars  affair,)  in  Jerusalem  itself,  to  be  opened 
by  Pius  IX  it  is  said, — on  the  other  hand  the  Russian 
clergy  have  constantly  increasing  influence  among 
the  natives,  &  even  just  now  a  particular  delegate 
has  come  to  the  "  Holy  City  "  with  important  powers 
from  Alexander.  In  the  meantime,  the  "  Protestants  " 

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Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

stand  alone  as  a  mark  for  Hebrew,  &  Heathen, 
Musulman,  Latin,  Greek,  &  Armenian,  to  be  pointed 
out  by  all  &  each  as  the  living  Pharisees  of  the  day, 
professing  a  better  &  simpler  form  of  Christ's  religion 
than  their  fellow  Xtians,  yet  scandalizing  the  whole 
community  by  their  monstrous  quarrels  ;  their  Consuls 
&  Bishops  regarding  each  other  with  hatred,  &  each 
acting  to  each  with  open  contempt  &  malignity,  while 
every  portion  of  their  resident  fellow  religionists  take 
one  or  the  other  side  of  the  faction.  And  this  forsooth 
at  a  place  for  example  for  Turks  &  Jews  ;  this  at  the 
very  place  where  He  whom  they  believe  the  founder 
of  their  faith,  died !  By  Heaven !  if  I  wished  to 
prevent  a  Turk,  Hebrew,  or  Heathen,  from  turning 
Christian  I  would  send  him  straight  to  Jerusalem !  I 
vow  I  could  have  turned  Jew  myself,  as  one  American 
has  actually  lately  done.  At  least  the  Jews  do  not 
lie  ;  they  act  according  to  their  belief :  and  among 
themselves  they  are  less  full  of  hatred  &  malice 
(perhaps, — for  bye  the  bye,  they  excommunicated 
Sir  M.  Montefiore  in  3  synagogues  because  they 
said  he  tried  to  introduce  Xtian  modes  of  life,)  than 
the  Xtian  community.  But  these  latter,  arrogating 
to  themselves  as  they  do  all  superiority  in  this  &  the 
next  life,  trample  the  most  sacred  doctrines  of  Christ 
below  their  feet  daily :  "I  say  unto  you  love  one 
another"  are  words  which  Exeter  Hall,  or  Dr. 
Phillpotts,1  —  Calvinist,  or  Puseyite,  Monophysite 

1  The  famous  Bishop  of  Exeter,  who  spent  about  ^25,000  in 
litigation.     In  1847  he  refused  to  institute  the  Rev.  G.  C.  Gorham 

104 


Palestine,  Corfu,  and  England 

Armenian  &  Copt,  or  Trinitarian  Greek,  &  Latin 
receive  with  shouts  of  ridicule  &  blasphemous  derision. 
— "  Almost  thou  persuadest  me  not  to  be  a  Xtian  "  is 
the  inner  feeling  of  the  man  who  goes  to  the  "  Holy 
City  "  unbiassed  towards  any  "  religious  "  faction  : — 
&  it  is  at  least  my  own  deliberate  opinion  that  while 
"  the  Christ  that  is  to  be,"  is  so  far,  far  removed 
from  the  Xtian  priesthood  and  Xtians  in  a  body  as 
it  is  in  South  Palestine,  while,  in  a  word  Jerusalem  is 
what  it  is  by  &  through  Xtians  dogmas  &  theology, 
— so  long  must  the  religion  of  Christ  be,  and  most 
justly,  the  object  of  deep  hatred  &  disgust  to  the 
Moslem,  of  detestation  &  derision  to  the  Jew.  From 
all  this  mass  of  squabblepoison  let  me  except  the 
Americans  :— these  alone,  particularly  in  Northern 
Syria  seem  to  think  that  Christ's  doctrines  are  worth 
keeping  thought  of :  as  far  as  I  can  perceive,  they  are 
as  much  respected  for  their  useful  practical  lives,  as  for 
their  uniform  peaceful  &  united  disposition  of 
brotherly  love  one  towards  another. 

One  word  about  the  Jews  :  the  idea  of  converting 
them  to  Xtianity  at  Jerusalem  is  to  the  sober  observer 
fully  as  absurd  as  that  you  should  institute  a  society  to 
convert  all  the  cabbages  &  strawberries  in  Covent 
garden  into  pigeon-pies  &  Turkey  carpets.  I  mean 
that  the  whole  thing  is  a  frantic  delusion.  Are  the 

to  the  living  of  Brampford  Speke.  Gorham  appealed  to  the 
Privy  Council  and  was  instituted  in  1850.  A  fierce  controversy 
arose,  in  the  course  of  which  Dr.  Phillpotts  excommunicated 
the  Archbishop  of  Canterbury. 

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Jews  fools  that  they  should  take  up  with  a  religion 
professing  to  be  one  of  love  &  yet  bringing  forth 
bitter  hatred  &  persecution  ?  Have  the  Jews  shown 
any  particular  sign  of  forgetting  their  country  &  their 
ancestral  usages,  that  you  should  fancy  it  easier  for 
them  to  give  up  their  usages  in  the  very  centre  of  that 
country  they  have  been  so  long  attached  to,  &  for 
the  memory  of  which  they  have  borne  such  and  so 
much  misery?  Once  again  the  theory  of  Jew-con- 
version is  utter  boshblobberbosh— nothing  more  nor 
less. 

With  all  this,  and  in  spite  of  all  this,  there  is  enough 
in  Jerusalem  to  set  a  man  thinking  for  life,  &  I  am 
deeply  glad  I  have  been  there.  O  my  nose !  O  my 
eyes  !  O  my  feet!  How  you  all  suffered  in  that 
vile  place !  for  let  me  tell  you,  physically  Jerusalem 
is  the  foulest  and  odiousest  place  on  earth.  A  bitter 
doleful  soul-ague  comes  over  you  in  its  streets. 
And  your  memories  of  its  interior  are  but  horrid 
dreams  of  squalor  &  filth,  clamour  &  uneasiness, 
hatred  &  malice  &  all  uncharitableness.  But  the 
outside  is  full  of  melancholy  glory,  exquisite  beauty 
&  a  world  of  past  history  of  all  ages : — every  point 
forcing  you  to  think  on  a  vastly  dim  receding  past, 
or  a  time  of  Roman  war  &  splendour,  (for  ^Elia 
Capitolium  was  a  fine  city)  or  a  smash  of  Moslem 
&  Crusader  years,  with  long  long  dull  winter  of 
deep  decay  through  centuries  of  misrule.  The  Arab 
&  his  sheep  are  alone  the  wanderers  on  the  pleasant 
vallies  and  breezy  hills  round  Zion  : — the  file  of  slow 

106 


Palestine,  Corfii,  and  England 

camels  all  that  brings  to  mind  the  commerce  of  Tyre 
&  other  bygone  merchandize. 

Every  path  leads  you  to  fresh  thought : — this  takes 
you  to  Bethany,  lovely  now  as  it  ever  must  have 
been  :  quiet,  still  little  nook  of  valley  scenery.  There 
is  Rephaim  &  you  see  the  Philistines  crowding  over 
the  green  plain — Down  that  ravine  you  go  to  Jericho  : 
from  that  point  you  see  the  Jordan  and  Gilead. 
There  is  Anatoth,  &  beyond  all,  the  track  of  Senna- 
cherrib — Mishmash,  Giba,  Ephraim.  There  is  the 
long  drawn  hill  line  of  Moab.  There  is  Herodion 


where  the  King-Tetrarch  was  buried :  below  it  you 
see  the  edge  of  Bethlehem  which  he  so  feared.  That 
high  point  is  Neby  Samuel  and  beyond  it  is  Ramah. 
Close  by,  that  single  peak  is  Gibeah  of  Saul/  where 
Rizpah  watched  so  long.  (Bye  the  bye  that  is  a  5th 
subject  to  choose  from,  for  I  went  there  on  purpose 
to  get  the  view  :  &  wonderful  it  is.  A.  the  Moab 
hills.  B.  Dead  Sea.  C.  Jordan.)  And  thus,  even 
from  one  spot  of  ground,  you  are  full  of  thought  on 
endless  histories  &  poetries — I  cannot  conceive 
any  place  on  Earth  like  Jerusalem  for  astonishing 
and  yet  unfailing  mines  of  interest. 

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Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

But  to  leave  an  endless  subject :  My  stay  at 
Bethlehem  delighted  me  greatly,  And  I  then  hoped 
to  have  got  similar  drawings  of  all  the  Holy  Land. 
All  the  country  near  it  is  lovely,  and  you  see  Ruth 
in  the  fields  all  day  below  those  dark  olives.  (This 
is  the  6th  subject.  A.  the  Moab  hills.)  Next 
to  those  I  came  to  the  Dead  Sea,  which  is  a 
wonder  in  its  way,  but  the  finest  part,  Ain  Gidi, 
I  could  not  draw  well,  by  reason  of  more  Arab 
botheration.  Beyond  there  I  saw  little  else  of 
Southern  Palestine,  the  plain  of  Jericho,  but  not 


the  Jordan,  for  there  again  my  beloved  Arabs  dis- 
troyed  my  peace.  Mar  (Deir)  Saba,  a  wonderful 
monastery  "  all  as  one  cut  of  a  Cheshire  cheese  "  as 
my  man  said  : — the  plain  of  Sharon,  &  Jaffa  : — this 
was  all. 

The  last  part  of  my  journey,  (for  I  came  from 
Jaffa  by  sea  to  Beirut,)  has  been  of  a  different  kind. 
All  the  Lebanon  country  is  safe  &  pleasant,  &  the 
Maronite  Xtians  are  kindly  &  respectable  critters. 
But  on  the  other  hand,  there  wants  that  indescribable 
charm,  far  above  and  beyond  all  local  beauty  & 
novelty,  which  the  scenery  of  sublimer  Palestine 

108 


Palestine,  Corfu,  and  England 

brings  to  the  mind.  The  higher  portions  of  Lebanon, 
i.e.  the  outer  side — recall  Etna : — &  the  stonier  & 
more  confined  scenes,  many  a  well  known  Cumberland 
&  Westmoreland  dell : — The  whole  plain  of  Ccelo- 
Syria,  green  &  lovely  as  it  is,  is  but  Sicilian  land- 
scape, or  Thessaly  on  a  larger  scale.  The  interior 
of  Lebanon  is  however  wonderfully  fine  : — a  kind 
of  Orientalized  Swiss  scenery  : — innumerable  villages 
dot  the  plateaus  &  edge  the  rocks  which  are  spread  on 
each  side  of  &  rise  above  dark  ravines,  winding 
winding  downward  to  the  plains  of  Tripoli  and 
the  blue  sea.  All  these  I  could  well  have  wished 
to  explore  and  draw,  &  I  might  have  gone  thither, 
had  I  not  become  so  very  unwell  from  the  extreme 
cold  of  the  upper  part  of  the  mountain  as  to  be 
obliged  to  return  into  Ccelo-Syria  as  soon  as  I  could, 
having  my  drawing  of  the  Cedars  as  a  sign  of  my 
Lebanon  visit. 

Next  I  saw  Baalbec  but  I  can  by  no  means  endorse 
the  enthusiasm  of  travellers  regarding  these  very 
grand  ruins.  Their  immense  size,  their  proportions, 
the  inimitable  labour  &  exquisite  workmanship  of 
their  sculptured  details;  none  can  fail  to  be  struck 
with,  nor  to  delight  in  contemplating.  But,  all  the 
florid  ornaments  of  architecture,  (Roman  withall,) 
cannot  fill  up  the  place  of  simplicity,  nor  to  me  is 
it  possible  to  see  hideous  forms  of  Saracenic  walls 
around  &  mixed  with  such  remains  as  those  of 
Baalbec,  without  a  feeling  of  confused  dislike  of  the 
whole  scene,  so  incomplete  &  so  unimpressive.  To 

109 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

my  mind,  the  grand  and  positive-simple  Temple  of 
Paestum  —  the  lonely  Segesta  the  Parthenon  & 
Theseium,  &  above  all,  the  astonishing  singleness 
of  the  Egyptian  temples  are  worth  heaps  of  Baalbeks. 
Possibly  also,  the  presence  of  6  tents  full  of  English 
travellers,  of  a  rope-dancer  from  Cairo,  with  conse- 
quent attendant  crowds,  &  of  a  village  full  of  tiresome 
begging  impical  Heliopolitans  had  somewhat  to  do 
with  my  small  love  of  Baalbek  &  its  neighbourhood. 
The  day's  journey  thence  half  way  over  Anti 
Lebanon,  &  the  following  journey  down  hither  would 
be  of  great  interest  could  more  time  be  spent  on 
the  way : — but  though  I  have  added  little  to  my 
collection  of  drawings,  the  view  of  this  city  and  its 
plain  is  almost  a  recompence  for  any  trouble.  Imagine 
1 6  worlds  full  of  gardens  rolled  out  flat,  with  a  river 
and  a  glittering  city  in  the  middle,  &  you  have 
a  sort  of  idea  of  what  the  Damascus  pianura  is  like. 
I  really  hope  to  get  a  good  view  of  this,  but  I  am 
sadly  put  out  at  losing  two  days  by  the  vagaries  of 
these  horrid  Musclemen,  not  to  speak  of  my  being 
lame  from  a  stone  thrown  at  me  yesterday,  pig !  I 
shall  set  off  from  here  on  Saturday  the  2 9th  &  get  to 
Beirut  I  hope  on  June  ist. 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

CORFU.     18.  June.     1858. 

I  have  brought  all  my  Judean  and  Coelo- Syrian 
drawings  back  safe,  and  have  gained  in  energy 
physical  and  moral,  by  this  tour  into  the  most 

no 


Palestine,  Corfu,  and  England 

interesting  land  I  have  ever  travelled  over,  besides 
filling  my  mind  with  scenes  enough  to  last  a  longer 
life  than  mine  is  likely  to  be. 

My  own  plans  are  not  for  an  immediate  going 
away  from  here  unless  European  war  should  break 
out,  when  I  shall  come  to  England  at  once. 
Frank  L[ushington]  goes  in  a  few  weeks  : — I  need 
not  say  how  I  shall  miss  him : — whenever  I  have 
thought  him  less  friendly  than  I  have  supposed  he 
should  have  been,  I  have  invariably  found  he  was 
acting  rightly  and  uprightly  &  that  I  myself  had 
misinterpreted  him  now  and  then.  He  is  one  of  the 
best  unions  of  mind  &  principle  I  have  known.  I 
wish  you  knew  him  :  Do  try  &  do  so  when  he  gets 
to  England  : — there  are  few  better  worth  knowing  on 
every  account. 

Shall  all  of  you  come  in  again  ?  For  I  don't 
believe  the  Derbyites  will  stand.  I  regret  Lord 
S[tanley]  ever  having  joined  them. 

July  5th.    CORFU.     1858. 

Those  Jerusalem  letters  I  never  had,  but  I  have 
written  to  have  them  sent  here.  Concerning  that, 
as  you  justly  call  it,  "  ridiculous  Bishopric,"  J  I  hardly 
know  to  whom  you  can  apply.  Holman  Hunt  knows 
a  good  deal.  Have  you  seen  a  pamphlet  by  Dr. 
Graham  ?  ask  for  &  get  it.  Holman  Hunt  can  tell  you 

1  The  Jerusalem  Bishopric  was  founded  about  1841.  Lear 
is  referring  to  the  difficulties  that  had  arisen  between  the 
Consul  and  Bishop  Gobat,  head  of  the  Mission. 

Ill 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

where.  I  don't  believe  you  can  really  understand  the 
whole  mess  except  by  going  there  &  finding  out  what 
each  party  says.  You  are  right  to  enquire  &  work. 
(Did  you  see  a  passing  observation  on  yourself  in  the 
Saty.  mag.  (or  Leader?)  week  before  last?)  Work, 
work  :  so  that  the  next  turn  of  the  wheel  you  may  be 
only  one  step  below  Merivale,  not  two  as  you  were  last 
ministry.  (!) 

You  will  be  sorry  to  hear  I  have  had  a  bad  eye,  a 
sty,  only  more  like  an  abscess  :  My  brain  is  con- 
fused between  cause  &  effect,  &  I  don't  know  if  my 
being  a  pig  has  produced  the  sty,  or  whether  the  sty 
makes  me  a  pig.  But  I  know  I  am  a  pig. 

I  will  send  you  such  a  funny  book,  "  The  Tempest," 
'H  TPIKYMIA.  It  is  extremely  well  translated,  Caliban  i 
&  Ariel  are  delightful.  Isn't  this  pretty. 


TO  we 


jiXiu   KOI  XajStrE 
(TO 


'g  rfjv  a^uoStw, 


y\vica,   <r'  ore  XaXw. 
ytid,  7Eta,  rove 


MTTOOI;,  flyaov. 
yavyovv  ra   ^u 
112 


Palestine,  Corfu,  and  England 

Avrt(f>. 

M.TTO.OV,  /3yaow. 
rov  iriruv 


XaXet 

ra  fjivarripia 

This  place  is  wonderfully  lovely.  I  wish  you  could 
see  it  ;  if  you  came  I  could  put  you  up  beautifully,  & 
feed  you  on  Ginger-beer  &  claret  &  prawns  &  figs. 

A.  Tennyson  has  written  two  more  poems,  one  I 
hear  is  a  dialogue  between  a  gent.  &  lady. 

If  I  go  to  Jerusalem,  I  shall  have  to  ask  you  a 
good  deal  about  the  matter,  as  I  am  inclined  to  be 
"impetuous"  overmuch,  &  might  start  a  periodical 
"  The  cursed  City  "  as  a  title. 

P.S.  —  The  K.  of  Greece  landed  here  3  days  ago  : 
&  went  up  to  see  Sir  J.  &  Lady  Y.  He  was  received 
immensely  by  the  Corfiotes,  as  you  may  suppose. 

About  the  middle  of  August  Lear  left  for 
England  with  Lushington,  who  was  hurrying 
back  in  consequence  of  the  death  of  his  brother 
and  niece.  After  the  usual  succession  of 
visits  to  the  Husey  Hunts,  the  J.  Crosses, 
the  Hornbys,  and  others,  he  settled  down  in 
his  London  lodgings  to  execute  the  numerous 
orders  received. 

1  Translation  of  "  Come  unto  these  yellow  sands,  "&c.  —  Act  I. 
sc.  ii. 

H3  I 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

16.  UPPER  SEYMOUR  STREET, 

PORTMAN  SQUARE, 

13.  Sept.  1858. 

I  forget  what  I  told  you  of  my  doings  :  after 
Knowsley  I  went  to  Liverpool,  &  then  to  Man- 
chester where  the  kind  Sir  John  Potter T  took  me 
in.  Coming  back  by  Derby,  I  saw  the  "  Corfu  "  in 
its  place,  &  I  passed  my  Sunday  at  W.  Nevill's — 
the  7th  house  I  have  seen  beadornamented  by  my 
own  paws. 

My  dear  boy, — I  cannot  go  to  Dudbrook.2  My 
straight  plan  now,  as  soon  as  I  get  the  pictures 
unpacked,  is  to  WORK.  I  cannot  work  with  my 
mind  frittered  by  agreable  society.  A  painter  must 
be  a  painter.  If  you  are  writing  to  Lady  W.  say  I 
shall  write  :  And  both  you  &  she  may  be  sure  that 
my  not  going  is  because  I  want  to  do  her  Pictures 
WELL,  also  Lord  Clermonts. 

You  will  be  glad — not  to  say  skipping  to  hear  that 
Holman  Hunt  has  seen  the  sketches  both  of  Masada 
&  her  view  of  Jerusalem  &  is  thoroughly  pleased  with 
both.  It  is  the  funniest  thing  to  talk  over  all  those 
places  with  him. — When  you  are  coming  to  town 
let  me  know.  I  long  to  see  you  again.  I  keep  in 
lodgings  here,  but  shall  paint  elsewhere. — At  present 
I  am  all  upside  down — nohow — bebothered — &  can 

only  write    this    much.     Did    I    tell    you    y£\    had 
written  in  all  5  new  poems? 

1  The  member  for  Manchester,  and  first  Mayor  of  the  City. 

2  In  Essex.     One  of  Lady  Waldegrave's  houses. 

114 


mmi 


Palestine,  Corfu,  and  England 

i  TOR  VILLA. 

CAMPDEN  HILL 

KENSINGTON. 
Monday  evening 

[Before  Nov.  i,  1858.] 

I  am  exceedingly  annoyed  that  I  cannot  come  : — I 
have  appointed  Dr.  Rimbault1  to  come  &  set  down 
some  of  my  songs  2  this  evening — &  he  comes  all  the 
way  from  Camden  Town,  &  it  is  theyfotf  night :  more- 
over I  have  just  been  into  town — to  send  off  poor 
sister  Ann, — but  that  would  not  matter  if  I  could 
possibly  otherwise  manage  it. 


16.  HUPPER  SEEMORE  STREET, 

PORTMAN      -    *8*/z  Nov. 


Coming  home  at   11.30, 
from  Mr.  Stanley's,   I  find 

1*  /r  n  ,  your   Wusstussher   noat.  — 

**     ^=^^~r-    Thank  God   I   ain't  to  be 

rubbed  by  a  beastly  fiend 
with  a  wet  sheet  :  —  3  But  I  believe  you  will  be  all 
the  better  for  it.  Is  Ward  Braham  rubbed  rubbing 
rubbable  or  rubbabibbabubbapbimbubabebabblllleee 

1  An  indefatigable  composer  and  writer  on  musical  subjects. 
He  rescued  from  oblivion  and  published,  some  of  the  best  work 
of  the  early  English  composers. 

2  Lear  set  many  of  Tennyson's  poems  to  music  and  sang  them, 
though  he  had  no  knowledge  of  music,  and  had  only  what  the 
French  call  a  "  filet  de  voix  "  ;  yet  he  rendered  them  with  so 
much  expression  as  to  make  tears  start  to  the  eyes  of  his  hearers. 

3  Refers  to  a  visit  of  Fortescue  to  Dr.  Gully's  establishment  and 
cold  water  cure. 

"5 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

also  ? — !  I  rote  to  you  this  morning  : — but,  how  the 
debble  could  your  letter  reach  me  to-night  ? 

At  Mrs.  Stanley's  there  was  Arthur,2  (who  is  grown 
much  more  expansive  &  talkative  &  World-like  than 
of  old — though  as  good  &  kind  as  always  :)  Mr. 
Penrhyn  3  &  Emmy  ditto,  always  good.  Mary  Stanley 
of  Scutari  memories  &  twisted  faith, — Walrond  who  is 
stilty  &  scholastic : — &  one  Adolphus,  whose  name 
savours  of  Dolphins.  The  conversation  was  not 
bad  :  mostly  of  Spain  &  Biarritz,  with  sparks  of  fun. 
Show'd  all  my  sketches  to  Arthur  S.  &  Walrus, — & 
was  pleased  by  their  praise  of  their  fiddlediddlety  of 
representation.  But  we  don't  agree  about  the  beauty 
of  Palestine  i — I  say  that  "  there  is  beauty  in  every- 
thing "  is  a  better  principle  than  "  look  for  conven- 
tional beauty,  &  failing  that  don't  see  any." 

Returning  here,  I  find  varicose  gnoats.  One  from 
Mr.  Morier,  containing  ever  so  much  good  Greek. 

aujOtov  Sa  IpyofJLai  Trpog  art  irptv  rate  evSe»ca  Sjpait;,  va  <rl 
va  tow,  S'aujua^wv,  TO.Q  Trig  fIapai(TTY)viig  Zwypatytag 
$oj3e/>a     Sa     yivwrai    TO.     avaicaraaJ/tiara     rrjg     I<ovtK>)e 
)  rtrota  yai$apo\tKia  irorl  Stv  TjKOua-a."  4     He  writes 

really  good  Romaic. 

1  Lady  Waldegrave's  youngest  brother,  who  accompanied 
Fortescue. 

*  Arthur  Penrhyn  Stanley,  a  close  personal  friend  of  Lear's, 
who  is  mentioned  frequently  in  the  letters,  was  the  second  son 
of  the  Bishop  of  Norwich.     He  was  appointed  Chaplain  to  the 
Prince  Consort  in  1854,  and  afterwards  became  Dean  of  West- 
minster.    Mary  Stanley,  his  sister,  was  in  charge  of  fifty  nurses  in 
the  Crimea  during  the  war.        3  Brother-in-law  of  Lord  Derby. 

*  To-morrow  I  am  coming  to  you  before  eleven  o'clock.     Yea 

116 


Palestine,  Corfu,  and  England 

0  mi !  how  giddy  I  is ! — Perhaps  it  is  along  of  the 
cliff  of  Ain  Giddi :  perhaps  of  the  glass  of  sherry  & 
water  close  by — only  I  ain't  drank  it  yet. 

1  wen  tup  two  the  Zoological  Gardings,  &  drew 
a  lot  of  Vulchers  :  also  I  saw  the  eagles  &  seagles  & 
beagles  &  squeegles  :  leastwise  the  big  bears  &  all 
the  other  vegetables. 


also  the  little  dragging,  who  is  the  Beast  of  the 
Revialations. 

Miss  Mackenzie  is  married  this  afternoon  to  Lord 
Ashburton,  34 — 60. 

The  cold  is  so  great  that  my  nose  is  frizz  so  hard 
that  I  use  it  as  a  paper  cutter. 

I  have  axed  Lord  Stanley  for  the  Cadetship,1  & 
have  written  to  Lady  Derby  to  know  if  she  wants 
her  usbing's  hancester's  picter. 

To-morrow  I  go  to  Holman  Hunts,  to  city,  pay 
bills,  &  dine  at  Beadons. — Saturday  Clowes  comes 

I  shall  greet  you  and  shall  see  with  admiration  your  pictures  of 
Palestine.  Fearful  indeed  did  the  up-and-down  motions  of  the 
Ionian  Sea  become,  what  universal  longings  for  terra  firma  have 
ever  come  to  me. 

1  Probably  for  a  nephew  or  young  friend. 

117 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

up :  &  I  go  to  Cramers  to  arrange  finally  about  the 
5  songs.  Poor  dear  Lady  Bethell  writes  me  a  sad 
note :  I  fear  now  that  she  is  really  ill. 

It  is  zis  ted-bime, — Goodnight.  My  love  to  the 
water  fiend. 

PAVILION  HOTEL,  FOLXTON. 

Novbr.  25/58. 

Still  one  more  line.  Your's  retched  me  here 
(spelling  adaptable  to  circumstances,)  this  morning, 
on  my  coming  over  from  my  last  visit  to  my  old 
sister.  I  don't  see  any  phun  in  the  2  coal'd  pales  of 
water  on  one's  bak  : — &  I  think  your  remarx  on 
Water-worx  generally  are  far  from  untrue.  Seriously, 
I  should  conceive  that  the  necessity  of  constant  con- 
templation of  one's  health  can't  be  good  for  the  body  or 
mind,  &  I  don't  see  but  that  you  are  right  to  cease 
the  trial. 

This,  I  suppose  will  find  you  at  Ld  Clarendon's  : — 
of  whose  visit  to  the  Montalembert-scruncher,1  I  hope 
you  will  think  well, — 

And  hereabouts,  my  bilious  and  skrogfrodious 
temperament  screws  itself  up  to  give  you  a  rowing  for 
what  your  enemies  call  a  "  desultory  "  &  "  dilettante  " 
tone  of  life.  The  moral  of  this  abrupt  &  angular 

1  The  fiery  debate  which  took  place  in  Parliament  in  March 
on  the  subject  of  Lord  Canning's  Indian  proclamation,  was  the 
occasion  for  the  issue  of  the  Comte  de  Montalembert's 
celebrated  pamphlet  "  Un  Debat  sur  1'Inde  au  Parlement 
Anglais,"  in  which  he  contrasted  the  political  freedom  in 
England  with  the  conditions  prevailing  in  France.  For  this 
he  was  prosecuted  by  the  French  Government. 

118 


Palestine,  Corfu,  and  England 

preachment  is  that  neither  you  nor  nobody  else  will  do 
no  good  if  you  do  things  by  halves  and  squittles. 

My  feeling  is,  Lord  Stanley  in  political  life,  or 
Holman  Hunt  in  painting  are  the  best  2  coves  to  be 
imitated  in  1858  :  alike  in  this,  that  what  either  do, 
they  do  thoroughly  &  well.  As  a  set  off  to  this  beastly 
jerk  of  my  temper,  I  do  allow  that  you  thought  of  me 
in  sending  Kingsley's  book  by  post  as  you  did,  where- 
by I  am  cutting  it  &  some  toast  at  the  present 
momenx. — also  that  in  matters  of  friendship  you  are 
not  a  "dilettante"  but  a  realist  &  praeraphaelite. 

Since  I  left  town  I  have  suffered  less  from  Asthma 
daily — but  yet  a  good  deal.  At  Husey  Hunts — (Lewes) 
I  felt,  as  I  alway  do,  their  extreme  kindness,  greatly. 
Thence  I  went  to  Ann  at  Margate  : — Sister  No.  2  is 
coming  home  from  New  Zealand,  (about  April,)  and  I 
hope  Ann  will  then  live  with  her,  as  at  68,  &  in  failing 
health  I  do  not  like  her  being  so  alone. — It  is  always  a 
hard  task  to  leave  the  poor  dear  old  lady,  &  I  have  to 
act  hard-hearted  to  keep  her  at  all  quiet. 

Arrived  here,  I  find  a  most  good  and  kind  letter 
from  Lady  Isabella  Proby — on  poor  dear  John  Proby's 
death.1  She  says,  "  I  send  you  these  details  of  my 
brother  John's  death,  because  I  know  you  loved 
him."  And  this  was  true  :  I  did  love  him  very 
much,  and  that  fellow  Bowen's  coarse  ridicule  of 
him  was  one  among  many  of  my  causes  of  dislike 
towards  him. 

1  Lord  Proby,  heir  to  the  Earldom  of  Carysfort,  died  at  the 
age  of  35.  Lady  Isabella  was  his  sister. 

119 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

But  I  myself  was  never  kind  to  John  Proby  as  I 
should  have  been,  for  which  I  suffer  now,  and  some 
day  shall  perhaps  suffer  more. 

Regarding  money — Gibbs  writes  here  that  he  has 
paid  in  60  odd  £s  to  Drummings, — &  also  Cramer  & 
Beale  have  putchissed  my  5  new  songs,  &  the  copy- 
rights of  the  old  4.  So,  if  so  be  as  you  wants  to  get, 
(i)  "Come  not  when  I  am  dead "(2)  "  When  thro'  the 
land," — (3)  "  The  time  draws  near  "  (4)  "  Home  they 
brought  "  I — (5)  "  O  let  the  solid  ground  " — nows  your 
time  at  Cramers  201,  Regent  Street.  I  could  tell  you 
a  kind  doing  of  Lord  Stanley,  but  have  no  thyme  now. 

Goodbye  once  more  :  my  dear  Chichester  Fortescue. 

Lord  Lyons' 2  death  has  just  come  to  me  also.  You 
know  I  think  that  he  saved  my  life  when  at  Thebes 
1 848  3  by  sending  promptly  out  two  doctors  in  a  coach 
&  four : — had  they  not  arrived  I  should  not  be 
writing  to  you  now. 

Aprettygo  this  of  the  Montalembert  decision  in  Paris. 

1  Twelve  of  Lear's  songs  from  Tennyson  were  included  in 
this  series,  and  afterwards  were  published  by  Hutchins  and 
Romer.  The  following  extract  from  a  letter  of  Lear's  in  1882 
on  the  death  of  Archbishop  Tait  will  give  some  idea  of  Lear's 
singing :  "  The  latter  was  always  very  kind  to  me,  and  once 
said  in  a  big  party  when  I  had  been  singing  '  Home  they  brought 
her  warrior,'  and  people  were  crying  :  '  Sir,  you  ought  to  have 
half  the  Laureateship.'  That  was  in  '51,  when  he  was  Dean  of 
Carlisle." 

3  At  Arundel  Castle  when  he  held  the  post  of  Minister  at 
Athens.  He  was  practical  commander  of  the  Fleet  throughout 
the  Crimean  War. 

3  See  letter  of  July  19,  1848,  from  Athens,  p.  10. 

J2O 


CHAPTER   V 
December,  1858,  to  November,  1859 


ROME     REVISITED 


THE  Ionian  islands,  which  had  been 
formed  into  a  republic  under  the 
Protectorate  of  Great  Britain  after  the  Treaty 
of  Vienna,  had  long  been  seething  with  dis- 
content, as  they  very  naturally  disliked  the 
foreign  yoke,  and  desired  union  with  Greece. 
Sir  Edward  Lytton,  who  had  succeeded  Lord 
Stanley  as  Secretary  for  the  Colonies,  decided 
to  send  an  envoy  to  investigate  the  causes 
of  dissatisfaction,  and  for  this  purpose  he 
appointed  Mr.  Gladstone  Lord  High  Com- 
missioner Extraordinary  to  the  islands  in 
November,  1858.  Mr.  Gladstone's  mission 
was  not  a  success,  as  the  people  persisted  in 
regarding  him  as  the  herald  of  freedom,  and 
public  opinion  was  so  hostile  in  England  that, 
after  his  return,  a  new  Lord  High  Commis- 

121 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

sioner  was  sent  out  to  enforce  the  British  rule 
with  greater  stringency.  But  the  idea  grew 
and  gained  ground  that  the  cession  of  the 
islands  to  Greece  was  only  a  matter  of  time. 

Lear  to  For  fescue. 

ROME,  13.  December.  1858. 

I  have  just  got  your  letter — 2nd  &  4th.  If  you 
knew  how  often  I  have  worried  myself  about  the  letter 
I  wrote  to  you,  you  would  not  have  added  coals  to  my 
head  by  writing  so  kindly.  The  very  fact  of  my 
opinions  having  weight  sufficient  to  draw  forth  an 
answer  should  make  me  more  careful  of  the  ways  & 
manner  in  which  I  put  them  into  words  or  on  paper. 
There  are  times  when  I  turn  into  bile  and  blackness, 
body  &  soul, — &  in  those  phases  of  life  I  hate  myself  & 
through  myself  hate  everybody,  even  those  I  like  best. 
The  general  accusation  of  forgetfulness  may  have  had 
some  foundation  as  regards  you,  but  I  am  sure  I 
ought  not  to  have  written  disgustingly — as  I  know 
I  did,  and,  as  I  set  out  by  saying,  I  have  been 
thoroughly  vexed  by  having  done  so  ever  since.  Pray 
forget  this  ugly  little  parenthesis  in  our  friend-life : — 
and  believe  that  the  irritation  of  an  artist's  life 
produces  much  which  works  its  possessor  bitterness, 
when  that  individual's  brain  has  been  so  little  guided 
in  youth  as  mine  was. — 

I  was  at  Margate  with  my  old  sister  on  the  25th. 
Novr.  &  Clowes  joined  me  on  the  26th.  at  Folke- 

122 


Rome  Revisited 

stone — whence  we  crossed  to  Paris  &  remained  there 
the  2;th.  &  28th. — What  a  splendid  city  that  has 
become !  I  never  saw  anything  like  the  Rue  de 
Rivoli : — On  Monday  the  29th.  we  reached  Marseilles, 
&  that  evening  left  for  Italy,  reaching  Rome  at  mid- 
night on  Wednesday  the  i  st,  and  glad  to  get  to  bed  in 
the  Europa. — 

The  12  days  since  then  have  been  to  me  the  most 
weary  and  sadly  depressing  I  have  passed  for  long 
years. — And  so  dismal  has  been  the  return  here,  that 
only  the  friendlyness  of  ancient  acquaintances,  &  the 
even  temper  and  kindness  of  Clowes  could  have  kept 
me  above  water  : — 2  or  3  times  I  have  nearly  resolved 
on  going  off  straight  to  America.  Day  after  day  I 
have  gone  up  &  down  stairs,  but  could  find  nothing  to 
live  in  under  any  circumstances  : — Every  place  of  any 
sort  I  could  paint  in,  furnished,  &  at  Grosvenor- 
Square  prices,  fancy,  for  3  stuffy  pokey  rooms,  foul,  & 
vile,  &  up  4  floors, — 15^  a  month  !  At  last,  having 
resolved  that  I  must  finish  the  pictures  here — (which 
as  yet  are  not  heard  of  even  as  far  as  Leghorn)  I 
determined  on  taking  (&  I  could  only  get  it  for  2 
years)  a  set  of  apartments  in  the  New  Palazzo 
Albertazzi ;  I  have  got  the  4th  floor  (half  of  it)  &  am 
furnishing  it  as  fast  as  I  can — :  it  is  to  cost  2o£  per 
quarter,  a  sum  I  ought  not  to  pay,  &  yet  cannot  avoid 
nailing  myself  to : — As  yet  I  have  only  got  carpets 
cut,  besides  a  portable  bed-stead,  six  chairs,  a  pair  of 
bellows,  &  a  pepper-box.  Clowes  has  got  a  lodging 
at  31  P.  di  Spagna  &  we  see  much  of  each  other. 

123 


But  how  can  I  tell  you  of  the  curious  feelings  which 
an  absence  of  1 1  years  has  occasioned  on  revisiting 
this  place?  It  is  impossible  to  do  so.  Moreover,  I 
wish  to  send  this  off  to-morrow,  Robt.  Hay,1  the 
Knights,2  the  Bertie  Mathews,  Williams,  &  Gibson,3 
are  here  of  old  friends. 

Dec.  1 4th.  Here  is  a  go!  Poor  Clowes  riding  with 
C.  Knight  yesterday — had  a  fall — (his  horse  stepped 
in  a  hole)  &  he  has  broken  his  collar  bone.  So  there 
is  enough  for  me  to  think  of  just  now.  Meanwhile, 
I  can't  get  into  my  rooms  yet  at  all,  and  am  really 
nearly  mad. 

5.  January.  1859. 

9.  VIA  CONDOTTI.  ROME. 

It  is  all  well  that  you  did  not  come  into  the  room, 
instead  of  the  apparition  of  your  letter  : — if  you  had  I 
should  have  had  a  fit  &  died.  For  I  was  so  miserable 
that  I  had  to  put  away  my  drawing  &  pace  up  &  down 
the  room,  so  that  when  your  dear  good  kind  letter 
came,  I  could  not  help  the  tears  a  busting  out  of  my 
eyes  incontinent,  all  the  more  as  I  read  it : — a  weak- 
ness I  had  to  conceal  from  Giorgio,  who  has  a  theory 
that  "  chi  piange  per  altro  che  la  morte  di  sua  madre, 

1  Robert  Hay  was  the  leading  member  of  an  archaeological 
expedition  to  Egypt,  1826-32,   and  forty-nine  volumes  of  his 
drawings  were  afterwards  purchased  by  the  British  Museum. 

2  The  family  of    John   Knight  of    Wolverley.    The   eldest 
daughter  married  the  Duke  of  Sermoneta  ;  the  second  daughter, 
Isabella,  was  a  hopeless  invalid. 

3  John  Gibson,  the  sculptor,  who  died  in  Rome  1866.      He 
revived  the  use  of  colour  in  statuary. 

124 


Rome   Revisited 

e  sciocco,"1  or  as  he  words  it  usually — "6  o-rrolog 

X<*J/(He    &ta  TOV  Savarov    TJJC    firirpog    TOV,   ttvai   yaiSapOG  \J-0-, 

an  ass).2 

I  shall  now  dismiss  my  worries  &  reproaches  about 
you,  leastwise  considering  myself  a  mitigated  beast,  & 
I  shall  send  this  as  soon  as  I  can,  hoping  also  you 
may  soon  write  again,  for  the  relief  your  letters  & 
those  of  F.  Lushington  &  others  give  me  is  not  to  be 
expressed.  (Bye  the  bye — do  try  &  know  F. 
Lushington — at  the  Cosmopolite  or  elsewhere.) — I 
shall  now  look  over  your  letter,  &  answer  in  comments 
— dividable  by  linear  appearances. 

Gladstone  &  Corfu  are  queer  absurdities : — why 
didn't  Dizzy  let  Lord  Stratford — (who  was  on  the 
spot) — settle  things  ? — But  still,  though  Gladstone  was 
not  a  fit  man  to  send, — the  Govt.  have  shown  that 
they  mean  to  set  a  new  system  to  work, — Gorgeous' 
going  to  wit  as  proof — for  he  had  no  alternative^  tho' 
he  vows  he  is  going  by  choice. — I  expect  poor  Sir  J. 
will  resign,  3  as  he  ought  to  have  done  earlier — &  that 
he  &  all  the  Ionian  suite  will  come  here  bye  and 
bye. 

I  am  very  glad  you  have  been  enjoying  yourself. 
It  is  not  wonderful  that  anyone  should  like  Stanley  : — 
I  envy  those  who  see  much  of  him,  as  I  have  a  kind 

1  "Who  weeps  for  aught  but  the  death  of  his  mother  is 
foolish." 

2  Practically  the  same  as  the  Italian  translation,  with  Lear's 
addition. 

3  Sir  J.  Young  did  resign,  and  Sir  Henry  Storks  was  appointed 
in  his  place. 

125 


of  mixed  affection  and  interest  and  admiration  for  him 
I  never  felt  united  for  anybody. 

I  need  not  say  I  was  glad  to  know  you  saw  more  of 
Lady  W. — (What  a  fuss  I  am  in  to-day  about  her 

pictures  : — they  are  come  but  the  d d  dogana  will 

not  let  them  pass — d brutes.) 

My  kindest  respects  to  Mrs.  Ruxton :  I  am  glad 
the  i,ooo,ooo's  sauce-pan  is  more  to  the  purpose. 

By  jingo  !  if  you  were  to  come  at  Easter  !  Only,  I 
might  go  crazy. 

I  have  hung  my  show-room  with  white,  &  hope  to 
get  some  drawings  into  it  before  long : — but  I  am 
dreadfully  bothered  by  invitations,  which  I  abhor. 
Dinners  are  natural  and  proper :  but  late  mixed  tea- 
parties  foul  &  abhorrent  to  the  intelligent  mind. 

Do  you  know  I  like  Egerton  H[arcourt]  l  better  than 
I  expected, — indeed  very  well  and  also  Lady  Frances.2 
I  laughed  at  your  note  about  "Jessie  "3  she  is  too 
powerful  by  half,  yet  somewhat  jolly.  I  am  asked 
there  to-morrow  night,  but  I'm  hanged  if  I'll  go. 
That's  the  end  of  my  notes  on  your's — &  now  I  shall 
shuffle  on  promisquis. 

First  for  goodness  sake  say  who  is  Richard  Bright?-* 
who  rather  is  Mrs.  B.  ?  I  have  taken  a  liking  to 

1  Youngest  son  of  the  Archbishop  of  York.    George  Harcourt, 
Lady  Waldegrave's  husband,  was  the  eldest  son. 

2  Daughter  of  the  fifth  Earl  of  Oxford  and  widow  of  an 
elder  brother  of  Egerton  Harcourt. 

3  Second  wife  of  Mr.  Granville  Vernon,  another  brother  of  Mr. 
George  Harcourt.    She  was  a  daughter  of  the  twenty-second 
Lord  Dacre. 

«  He  in  Parliament.    She  a  daughter  of  Admiral  Wolley. 

126 


Rome   Revisited 

R.  B.  because  he  knows  &  likes  you  : — also  he  knows 
others  of  my  friends.  So  I  dined  there,  last  week, 
with  S.  W.  Clowes — (who  having  broken  his  collar- 
bone is  now  out  again,)  &  showed  him  a  bit  of  the 
Gampagna  on  Sunday.  He  seems  a  sensible  fellow, 
&  don't  talk  watering-place  rot.  At  his  house  I  met 
Gibbs  *  (former  tutor  to  P[rince]  of  W[ales])  whom  I 
liked — &  W.  Palmer  of  religious  fervid  search  2  & 
George  Waldegrave  3  who  seemed  a  nice  fellow  also. 
But,  as  all  here,  these  people  go  squittering  after 
sights,  &  are  no  more  themselves  seen. 

The  Stratford's  4  live  a  long  way  off — beyond  the 
4  Fontane.  I  have  been  asked  to  T.,  &  have  not 
gone  but  called  :  I  doubt  my  seeing  much  of  them. 

Can  you  get,  or  write,  &  send  me  out — a  letter  of 
introduction  to  Odo  Russell  ?  5  or  to  him  to  me — if 
that  is  the  better  way  ? — He  is  spoken  of  as  well  worth 
knowing,  &  I  should  like  to  know  him  if  I  could. 

1  Frederick  W.  Gibbs,  Q.C.,  C.B ,  tutor  to  H.R.H.  the  Prince 
of  Wales,  1852-8. 

2  Palmer  of  Magdalen,  author  of   many  theological  works. 
When  Augustus  Hare's  mother  and  sister  were  left  destitute  in 
Rome  in  September,  1859,  through  the  treachery  of  an  abscond- 
ing lawyer,  the  son  relates  how  their  old  friend,  Mr.  William 
Palmer,  came  forward,  and   "  out  of  his  very  small  income 
pressed  upon  them  a  cheque  for  £i$o." 

3  Third  son  of  the  eighth  Earl  and  cousin  of  Lady  Walde- 
grave's  husband,  the  seventh  Earl. 

*  Lord  and  Lady  Stratford  de  Redcliffe. 

5  The  brilliant  diplomatist,  afterwards  Ambassador  at  Berlin  ; 
while  nominally  holding  paid  Attacheship  at  this  time  at  Flor- 
ence, was  employed  at  Rome  on  special  service.  Having  no  cre- 
dentials for  the  Vatican,  his  relations  with  Cardinal  Antonelli  and 
the  resident  diplomatic  body,  were  thus  of  an  informal  nature. 

127 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

The  Knights  live  here  much  as  ever,  Isabella  pass- 
ing her  1 8th  year  in  bed  (I  mean  she  has  been  in  bed 
1 8  years — )  but  bright  &  patient  always.  Margaret 
Dss.  of  Sermoneta  fading  slowly  :  but  kinder  &  softer 
than  most  Knights  are.  All  are  just  as  friendly  as 
ever  to  me.  So  indeed  are  all — Mr.  Hay  now  nearly 
blind  :  &  the  Bertie  Matthews,  but  these  two  last  live 
in  society  &  cliquerie. 

The  James  Marshalls  l —  (she  was  a  Spring  Rice) 
with  Aubrey  de  Vere 2  are  gone  to  Naples.  The 
Barrett  Brownings  also  are  here,  but  I  know  them 
not.  Various  Americans — Cushman  (Miss  3)  Perkins,4 
&  Storeys  are  pleasant  &  good  but  as  yet  I  eschew 
general  society,  being  wholly  cross  &  bigongulous. 
My  hopes  are  set  on  the  Grand  Duchess  Maria 
Nicolowiena  5  of  Russia,  whom  I  hope  to  see  here 
when  I  get  my  Athos  paintings  out — if  they  ever  do 
come  out.  Your  friend  Lord  Granville 6  is  here  on 
crutches. 

The  Holy  Church  outside  the  P.  del  Popolo, 
thrives  :  it  is  belarged  and  beorganed,  &  be-beautified  : 

1  Third  son  of  John  Marshall  of  flax-spinning  fame. 

2  Third  son  of  the  poet-baronet,  and  himself  a  poet. 

3  Charlotte  Cushman,  the  great  American  tragic  actress. 

*  Augustus  Hare  mentions  meeting  at  Venice  in  1892  a  Mrs. 
Mary  Ridge  Perkins,  a  quaint  old  American  lady,  who  had 
adopted  thirty  homeless  children. 

s  Sister  of  the  Czar  Alexander  II.,  widow  of  Maximilian,  Duke 
of  Leuchtenberg. 

6  The  second  Earl,  President  of  the  Council  in  Lord  Palmer- 
ston's  Ministry,  1852-8,  when  he  resigned,  but  resumed  the  office 
in  1859. 

128 


Rome   Revisited 

&  the  chaplain  Woodward  is  a  good  earnest  man  & 
preaches  most  Abercrombycally,1  tho'  he  is  a  High 
Churchman.  Everybody  likes  him,  but  the  misery  of 
the  Sunday  sittings  on  feeble  chairs !  Vast  women 
in  black  velvet  hoops  utterly  carry  off  &  prostrate 
many  delicate  men  as  they  struggle  to  their  seats. 
Many  men  kneel  on  hoops  &  dresses,  &  a 
section  of  the  congregation  is  all  over-balanced  in 
consequence. 

The  philosophical  silent  Suliot  is  of  the  greatest 
comfort  to  me.  His  remarks  in  Greek — by  play — 
kill  me.  " '  ATr&a/ntvoi  OVTOI  01  avZp^Troi" 2  he  says  of  the 
Romans,  who  are  so  slow  &  odiously  indifferent. 
And  of  their  incessant  begging,  "AVTOI  flvai  "ApaSoi, 
juovov  £xouv  w*/wtf<rtfrep0  tv^ofiara."  3  It  is  hardly  possible 
to  be  thankful  enough  for  so  good  a  servant.  He 
says  of  Lushington  that  when  he  left,  Giovanni  (G.'s 
younger  brother  who  was  L.'s  under-servant — )  would 
not  stay  with  the  new  Judge,  but  returned  to  his 
former  trade  of  tailor,  but,  says  G.  he  does  nothing 
but  talk  of  his  old  master  instead  of  working.  L. 
seems  to  have  made  himself  beloved  at  Corfu  as 
everywhere  else. 

Correct  your  toe  &  tete  in  what  it  ails. — It  is  a  mis- 
take to  have  toes  at  all :  hoofs  would  have  been 
simpler  &  less  expensive,  as  precluding  boots. 

1  A  reference  used  often  in  Lear's  letters,  but  I  cannot  discover 
the  man  or  the  origin  of  the  expression. 

2  "  These  men  are  dead." 

3  "  These  men  are  Arabs,  but  have  more  clothes  on." 

129  K 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

9.  VIA  CONDOTTI.    ROMA. 

Janry.  24.  1859. 

To-day  has  brought  me  yours  of  the  1 5th,  which 
oily  rejoiced  me.  I  won't  go  to  church  to-day,  like  a 
good  boy,  &  will  write  to  you  instead.  I  heard  of  you 
two  days  back  when  Lady  Bethell  wrote  to  me,  & 
said  she  had  been  talking  with  "an  extremely  nice 
friend  "  of  mine  at  Lord  Palmerstons. 

I  seem  to  have  a  great  deal  to  say,  but  am  scattery, 
&  shan't  write  connectedly.  I  am  not  rejoiceful  in 
Rome  &  cannot  "set  myself  in  any  good  way."  I 
have  no  one  with  whom  to  sympathize  at  all  closely. 
S.  W.  Clowes  is  the  kindest  hearted  &  best  fellow 
possible,  but  he  has  no  application  to  or  taste  for 
much  I  would  always  lean  to,  nor  could  I  talk  with 
him  as  I  do  with  you  on  many  subjects.  I  wish 
indeed  you  were  here  for  a  time,  but  I  trust  to  see 
you  in  Ireland  or  England  before  next  winter. — The 
mass  of  people  here  pass  their  lives  in  mere  pleasure, 
a  regular  Bath  &  Brighton  life — &  I  don't  care  to 
know  them.  Others  are  naturally  using  every 
moment  in  seeing  sights  &  learning  Rome.  Others 
have  jealousies  &  smallnesses  &  professional  quirks 
from  wh.  I  wholly  stand  aloof.  O  Lord !  I  wishes 
I  was  a  beadle !  r 

All  my  smaller  painting's  here  have  been  bought — 

1  The  beadles  who  stand  outside  the  palaces  of  the  great 
Roman  nobles  are  still  objects  of  admiration.  The  magnificence 
of  their  traditional  costume  no  doubt  attracted  both  the  artist 
and  humourist  in  Lear. 

130 


Rome   Revisited 

3  by  a  dear  delightful  chap — one  Aubrey  de  Vere 
Beauclerk,1  who  lives  somewhere  near  Belfast. 

Lord  Stratford  was  here  for  nearly  two  hours  the 
other  day  &  really  delightful :  he  spoke  of  you  in  very 
nice  terms.  The  Youngs  &  all  the  Palace  party  are 
coming  here  directly.  Do  you  think  Dizzy  selected 
Sir  H.  Stork 2  on  purpose  that  being  called  King 
Stork,  his  predecessor  might  for  ever  be  dubbed  King 
Log? 

We  have  the  Prince  of  Wales  here,  who  seems  a 
very  nice  looking  &  prepossessing  lad. — 

i$tk.  Febry. — I  think  I  shall  send  this  off  to-day. 
I  hear  a  Colonel  Dunn  3  is  appointed  in  the  room  of 
G.  F.  B.  Gladstone  appears  to  be  making  a  great 
mess.  Do  you  know  Spring  rice-ious  people?  I 
dined  with  some  to-day.  I  wish  one  could  know  if 
there  is  likely  to  be  war  or  not :  it  would  be  a  bore  to 
be  boxed  up  here  in  the  middel  of  hennemies.  Do 
you  know  Odo  Russell  our  new  envoy  here  ?  All  the 
English  fribble-world  is  irate  about  a  Miss  Cavendish, 
whom  Mrs.  Hare  a  pervert,  (sister  of  Sir  John  Dean 
Paul,)  has  cajoled  &  bebaptismalized,  unbeknown  to 

1  Of  Ardglass  Castle,  Co.  Down. 

2  Sir  Henry  Storks  was  appointed  Lord  High  Commissioner 
of  the  Ionian  Islands  in  February,  1859,  and  remained  there  till 
the  protectorate  was  resigned.     He  was  afterwards  Governor  of 
Malta  and  Jamaica. 

3  Possibly  Colonel  F.  P.  Dunne,  who  was  secretary  and  aide- 
de-camp  at  this  time  to  Lord  Eglinton,  Lord  Lieutenant  of  Ire- 
land.    Mr.  (afterwards   Sir)    Henry   Drummond  Wolfe,   was, 
however,  appointed  secretary  in  the  place  of  Sir  George  Bowen. 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

her  parents.1  Manning2  is  preaching  most  atrocious 
sermons  here,  to  which  nevertheless,  all  heaps  of 
fools  go.  A  vile  beastly  rottenheaded  foolbegotten 
brazenthroated  pernicious  piggish  screaming,  tearing, 
roaring,  perplexing,  splitmecrackle  crashmecriggle 
insane  ass  of  a  woman  is  practising  howling  below- 
stairs  with  a  brute  of  a  singingmaster  so  horribly, 
that  my  head  is  nearly  off. 

P.S. — Has  Cramer  published  my  songs  yet? 

Lear  to  Lady  Waldegrave. 

9.  VIA  CONDOTTI,  ROMA. 

26.  March.  1859. 

At  last  your  two  pictures  are  done,  &  will  be  out 
of  my  hands  in  two  days  from  this,  &  before  the  first 
of  May  I  trust  they  will  be  in  Carlton  Gardens.  So 
far  as  admiration  of  them  can  please  an  artist  I  have 
certainly  had  a  full  share  from  the  7  or  800  people 
who  have  seen  them  in  my  study  :  but  I  shall  never- 
theless be  very  desirous  to  know  how  you  are  pleased 
with  them.  The  Masada  is  the  most  striking  :  its 
sunset-colour,  &  excessive  lonely  character  must 
always  make  it  so.  The  Jerusalem  is  perhaps  the 
most  interesting  ;  &  I  hope  both  will  give  you  plea- 

1  A  daughter  of  Admiral  Cavendish.    The  "  Mrs.  Hare"  here 
mentioned  was  the  mother  of  Augustus  J.  C.  Hare,  "  Italima  " 
in  the  "  Story  of  my  Life,"  and  in  vol.  ii.  p.  97  he  tells  a  story 
of  his  mother's  earlier  acquaintance  with  Miss  Cavendish  in 
August,  1858. 

2  The  following  year  Cardinal   Manning  became  domestic 
prelate  to  the  Pope 

132 


LADY  WALDEGRAVE. 

From  a  photograph  taken  in  iSjQ. 

One  among  a  number  taken  in  conte  inflation  of  a  statuette 

executed  later  by  Xoble. 
This  one  a  special  post  from  one  of  the  plays  acted  at  Nuneham. 


Rome   Revisited 

sure  for  many  years  to  come.  At  any  time  I  should 
have  finished  these  two  pictures  carefully  for  my  own 
sake,  &  on  account  of  the  interest  of  the  subjects,  but 
I  must  tell  you  that  I  have  been  more  than  ordinarily 
attentive  to  your  two  commissions,  in  as  much  as  they 
were  given  me  in  faith,  and  because  the  payment  of 
one  of  them  was  an  assistance  to  me  in  going  to  the 
Holy  Land. 

For  the  same  reason  I  have  taken  as  much  pains 
as  I  could  with  Lord  Clermont's  picture  too,  which 
I  believe  I  shall  send  off  also  next  week.  Neither 
picture  of  Jerusalem  will  I  ever  repeat,  for  the  minute 
architecture  has  tried  my  sight  a  good  deal,  &  more- 
over I  hold  that  an  Artist  loses  much  of  his  originality 
by  repetition  of  his  works. 

The  war  between  France  and  Austria  now 
broke  out,  but  was  over  very  quickly.  The 
difficulties  in  Italy,  however,  were  rather 
augmented  than  diminished,  as  the  Italians 
found  that  Louis  Napoleon  had  no  intention 
of  literally  fulfilling  his  promise  to  free  them 
from  the  yoke  of  Austria.  The  national  move- 
ment against  foreign  supremacy  and  the 
temporal  claims  of  the  Pope,  soon  began  to 
assume  threatening  proportions  under  the 
leadership  of  Garibaldi. 


133 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

9.  VIA  CONDOTTI,  ROMA. 

May  i,  1859. 

Here's  a  pretty  kettle  of  fishes !  ain't  it  ?  Every- 
body here  is  trying  to  get  away,  but  they  can't,  for  the 
roads  thro'  Tuscany  are  more  or  less  uncertain,  &  no 
one  chooses  to  risk  horses  being  taken  for  troops. 
While,  the  same  panic  fills  all  the  boats  at  Naples, 
&  not  a  place  is  to  be  got  at  C.  Vecchia,  where  several 
hundred  English  are  staying, — on  dit, — like  to  poor 
folk  about  the  pool  of  Bethesda.  The  last  3  or  4 
days  are  indeed  very  full  of  thunder  clouds, — &  no 
one  knows  what  is  to  follow.  (The  P[rince]  of 
W[ales]  goes  to-morrow). — As  for  myself,  I  do  not 
know  which  way  to  turn.  Should  the  war  continue, 
or  spread  in  new  directions,  it  is  clear  that  no 
strangers  will  come  here,  &  the  place  will  be  utterly 
odious  ;  yet  I  have  taken  expensive  rooms  for  2  years 
&  a  half,  and  have  spent  every  farthing  I  have  in 
fitting  them  up  as  a  winter  home.  Possibly,  if  things 
grow  much  worse,  I  may  come  [to  England],  &  pub- 
lish some  of  my  tours  by  subscription,  living  ob- 
skewerly  &  cheaply.  In  less  than  10  days  I  hope 
to  send  off  Baring's  &  the  other  pictures.  Next 
to  make  the  studies  for  Gibbs,  Hey  wood,1  &  Stam- 
field's  pictures  in  the  Campagna.  This  will  bring  me 
to  June,  by  which  time  I  must  decide  some  way  or 
other. 

If  I  ever  come  to  England  I  must  see  you  at  Red 

1  Arthur  Hey  wood,  of  Stanley  Hall,  Yorks. 
134 


Rome    Revisited 

House,  but  I  should  mainly  have  to  poke  about 
London,  &  therefore  I  had  half  as  rather  not  come 
this  year,  all  the  more  that  the  N.Z.  sister  comes  over 
for  2  years — &  at  first  family  matters  won't  be 
happy,  as  there  has  been  much  bother  of  late,  & 
I  always  keep  out  of  these  messes,  though  I  have 
come  down  with  ^20  in  the  winter  for  the  amiable 
relatives  here  and  there,  as  is  right  &  fit.  My 
money  affairs  are,  au  plus  bas :  but  I  don't  like  giving 
up, — so  I  shall  hold  on. 

I  hope  you  have  not  been  over-bothered  by  the 
Election1 — but,  do  you  know  I  rather  like  you  to 
have  to  do  the  work,  because  it  stirs  you  up,  &  your 
nature  requires  that,  I  take  it  now  and  then.  Lord 
D[erby]'s  speech  about  the  Indian  heroes  was 
good  : — but  I  don't  think  his  Govt.,  or  Lord  S[tan- 
ley]  in  particular  have  acted  well  to  Lord  Canning, 
whose  career  has  been  one  of  the  utmost  difficulty, 
and  needed  no  ungenerosity  to  embitter  it  further  : 
the  Earldom  &  the  praise  do  not  tally  with  the  Ellen- 
borough  Stanley  dispatches.2 

Yes  indeed,  I  do  feel  "  sick  of  time  "  here.  I  am 
convinced  of  this  more  and  more  : — if  you  have  a 

1  The  defeat  of  Lord  Derby's  Government  over  Mr.  Disraeli's 
Reform  Bill  led  to  a  Dissolution  of  Parliament  in  May. 

3  On  March  3,  1858,  Lord  Canning,  then  Governor-General 
of  India,  issued  his  famous  Proclamation  practically  confiscating 
the  whole  of  Oude.  This  was  condemned  by  Lord  Derby's 
Government,  and  Lord  Ellenborough,  then  President  of  the 
Board  of  Control,  sent  a  despatch  disapproving  of  it  in  the 
most  violent  terms.  Lord  Canning  received  an  earldom  on 
May  21,  1859. 

135 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

wife,  or  are  in  love  with  a  woman,  (both  phases 
of  the  same  state  of  self  division,  the  only  real  and 
proper  state  of  life  in  this  world)  if  I  say  such  be  your 
condition,  w  avSptn-n-e !  *  then  you  may  stay  in  any  place 
&  in  any  circumstances :  you  are  raised  out  of  the 
necessity  of  contemplating  the  cussed  nuisances  of 
poverty  or  bores  by  sympathy : — but  if  you  are  abso- 
lutely alone  in  the  world,  &  likely  to  be  so,  then  move 
about  continually  &  never  stand  still.  I  therefore 
think  I  shall  be  compulsed  &  more  especially  by  the 
appearance  of  things  on  the  horizon, — to  go  to  Japan 
&  New  York,  or  Paraguay,  or  anywhere  before  long. 

LlTTLEGREEN,    PfiTERSFIELD,    HANTS. 

June  2/59. 

You  may  suppose  I  was  regularly  delighted  at 
hearing  from  Lady  Waldegrave  how  much  she  liked 
the  pictures.  Out  of  the  6  paintings,  my  years  work, 
3  have  given,  &  I  trust  will  give,  their  proper  share 
of  knowledge  &  pleasure. 

I  should  gladly  see  Millais's  worx,  but  do  not 
greatly  expect  to  like  them.  I  am  quite  aware  of  the 
qualities  of  his  mind,  which  I  do  not  apprehend  are 
of  the  progressive  nature,  as  are  Holman  Hunt's : 
but  his  power  and  technical  go,  I  have  no  doubt  are 
wonderful. 

Here,  there  is  as  much  cheerfulness  as  so  much 
sadness,  the  death  of  Lady  Wilton2  and  Mrs.  Hornby, 

'  "  O  man  !  " 

2  A  daughter  of  the  twelfth  Earl  of  Derby  and  cousin  of  the 
Hornbys.    She  died  December,  1858. 

136 


Rome   Revisited 

&  2  children  of  Lady  Denison,1  &  the  sudden  total 
blindness  of  the  dear  old  Admiral,  can  allow.  I  go 
on  writing  quietly,  3  tours,  Athos  &  Judaea  &  Alba- 
nian Zagorian,  &  am  generally  placid  in  mental  & 
obese  in  physical  conditions.  Movov  jut 

Stv    tfjLTTopH)    va    Kiip.it)    TTSpKToroTtpav    TT/oooSov     Trjg    ' 
ar\fjitpivr}Q   •yXwo-crr)^,   rjTog    iravTore   /ue   ^aivtrtu   ujg  tv  TT/oay/ua 
TTOU  /UE   'XpeiaZtTai   Ka3"'   -fifttpavov.2 

From  here  I  go  to,  Alfred  Tennyson's  Esqre., 
Faringford,  Freshwater,  Isle  of  Wight,  whence  let 
me  hear  from  you  : — I  shall  be  there  about  Tuesday 
next,  the  7th. 

I  am  on  thorns  for  news  about  Italy  : — what  a  time 
of  events  is  it  not  ? 

EAST  WELLOW  VICARAGE,  ROMSEY. 

12.  June,  59. 

Your's  of  yesterday  week  (posted  later  tho')  I  got 
at  Tennyson's,  which  place  I  left  yesterday  morning, 
&  after  being  in  12  vehicles  reached  this  unutterably 
quiet  remoteness,  whither  I  had  come  to  see  dear  old 
Mrs.  Empson,  &  poor  Wil.  Henry  E.  the  vicar. 

I  have  not  been  here  for  13  years,  since  which  two 
boys,  9  and  7  years  old  are  di  piu,  &  the  kind  mistress 
of  the  house  is  gone,  &  lies  under  a  white  grave,  on 
which  the  Villagers  put  a  fresh  chaplet  of  roses  every 

1  Littlegreen  was  the  residence  of  Admiral  Sir  Phipps 
Hornby,  K.C.B.  Lady  Denison  was  his  second  daughter  and 
the  wife  of  the  Governor  of  Van  Diemen's  Land. 

a  "  I  am  only  annoyed  that  I  cannot  make  more  progress 
in  modern  Greek,  which  always  seems  the  thing  I  need  every 
day." 

137 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Sunday — a  circumstance  I  never  saw  in  England 
before. 

Happily  for  me  the  Athanasian  blasphemy  was  not 
read  to-day  &  I  fancy  never  is  here  :  the  living  being 
in  Nightingale  of  Emley's  gift,  who  is  not  as  you  may 
know  reputed  over  orthodox,  perhaps  because  he  is 
a  truly  good  Xtian.  They  have  3  pictures  of  mine 
here,  Licenza,  Athos,  &  Corfu,  &  it  is  very  odd  how 
they  bring  me  back  past  years.  The  fact  is,  time  is 
all  nonsense : — it  is  shorter  &  shorter  &  suppurates 
into  nil. 

My  visit  at  Fairford  was  very  delightful  in  many 
ways.  I  should  think  computing  moderately,  that 
15  angels,  several  hundreds  of  ordinary  women,  many 
philosophers,  a  heap  of  truly  wise  and  kind  mothers, 
3  or  4  minor  prophets,  and  a  lot  of  doctors  and 
school-mistresses,  might  all  be  boiled  down,  and  yet 
their  combined  essence  fall  short  of  what  Emily 
Tennyson  l  really  is.  And  the  2  boys  are  complete 
little  darlings.  Alfred  T.  went  up  to  town  Friday, 
&  I  hope  the  "  Four  Idylls  of  the  King  "  will  come 
out  very  soon.  You  will  be  more  delighted  with 
Elaine,  &  Guinevere  than  you  can  imagine. 

A  twitching  regret  bothers  me  at  having  left  the  place. 

What  does  Urquhart2  say  to  things  in  general  as  to 
Russia? 3  I  cannot  see  any  daylight  of  certainty,  or 

1  Wife  of  the  poet,  and  daughter  of  Henry  Selwood. 

2  Husband  of  Fortescue's  younger  sister. 

3  "  Mr.  Urquhart  was  a  very  clever,  self-opiniated,  and  often 
curiously  wrong-headed  man.     He  had  seen  much  of  the  East 

138 


Rome   Revisited 

any  kind  of  comfort  anywhere  : — much  as  I  disagree 
with  Lord  D[erby]'s  party  as  guides  of  public  pro- 
gress, I  cannot  forget  Lord  P[almerston]'s  Sicilian 
&  Italian  or  French  obliquities.  In  fact  my  dear 
4oscue  I  begin  to  think  that  public  men  are  mainly 
alike  :  &  the  debates  on  the  address  read  to  me  very 
like  a  personal  set  of  quarrels  carried  thro'  on  polite 
technical  principles.  I  still  hope  to  be  in  town  about 
the  25th  or  27th.,  when  I  must  set  to  work  experi- 
mentalizing about  photographs,  or  lithographs  or  gros- 
pigraphs  for  new  publications.  At  present  I  am  doing 
little,  but  dimly  walking  on  along  the  dusty  twilight 
lanes  of  incomprehensible  life.  I  wish  you  were 
married.  I  wish  I  were  an  egg  and  was  going  to  be 
hatched.  Intanto,  I  shall  go  to  sleep,  for  hang  me 
if  I'll  go  to  church  again  to-day. 

Friday  Knight. 

Come,  continually  come : — continually  continue  to 
come.  The  morer  the  betterest  or  bestestmost.  But 
I  must  tell  you  that  R.  Cholmondeley l  comes  to 
brekfiss  on  Sunday  morning — tho'  that  need  not 
prevent  your  doing  so — but  it  is  phit  I  should 
tell  you. 

and  had  a  knowledge  of  Eastern  ways  and  Eastern  history  which 
few  Englishmen  could  equal.  But  he  was  under  the  absolute 
dominion  of  a  mania  with  regard  to  Russia,  which  distorted 
all  his  faculties"  (McCarthy's  "History  of  Our  Own  Times," 
vol.  iii.  p.  276). 

1  Probably  Reginald  Cholmondeley,  of  Condover  Hall, 
Shropshire. 

139 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Mrs.  Urquhart  answered  my  letter,  and  David  U. 
comes  to-morrow.  But,  O  Lord!  They  have  sent 
beforehand  a  huge  paper  on  Turkish  Baths,  and 
another  on  General  poltiks,  the  which  I  can't  and 
don't  intend  to  read.  My  hope  is  that  several  other 
people  will  call  at  the  same  time — so  that  no  discussion 
will  enshoo.  .  .  . 

Did  you  ever  meet  a  Baroness  Blaise  de  Bury? 
Not  that  that  that  that  that  has  anything  to  do  with 
the  subject  except  that  I  am  going  to  sleep  rapidgely, 
and  have  no  more  sense.  .  .  . 

13  UPPER  SEYMOUR  STREET, 
PORTMAN  SQUARE, 

July,  1859. 

I  had  the  message  from  the  Attorney  General  I  : — 
but  I  intended  to  have  told  you  so,  in  a  note  I  left  on 

r%\ 

your  table  yesterday —  />§!>»»  doubled  up  so. 

I  read  your  speech  this  morning,  &  it  seemed  to  me 
to  read  sensible  &  downright,  &  yet  perlite  &  not 
cross. — I  am  very  glad  you  have  this  additional  scope 
for  your  talents  &  study,  &  hope  you  will  be  a  con- 
tinually a  speaking.  Please  give  me  a  "  place "  in 
New  Zealand :  then  I  shall  be  always  in  such  a  mess 
you  will  always  be  obliged  to  be  a  excusing  of  me. 

I  wish  I'd  a  "place  "  to  paint  in,  meanwhile. 

I  have  worse  accounts  of  my  poor  sister  Harriett, 
this  morning,  but  do  not  apprehend  any  immediate 

«  Sir  Richard  Bethell. 
140 


Rome    Revisited 

danger.  I  fear  I  shan't  go  to  Ireland  this  year. — 
How  I  wish  I  had  some  settled  aboad,  at  least  until 
the  last  narrow  box. 

But  if  I  settled  myself  I  should  go  to  Tobago  the 
next  day. 

What  Italian  doings! 

Yrs  affly 


that's  my  new  assygram. 

The  following  poem  shows  Lear  had  evi- 
dently been  reading  dough's  "  Amour  de 
Voyage."  The  metre  is  the  same  and  the 
imitation  of  the  style  is  clever.  In  Lear's 
letters,  too,  one  meets  the  same  Roman  society 
that  is  described  by  Clough  : — 


15,  STRATFORD  PLACE, 

9  July. 
DEAR  F. — 
Washing    my   rosecoloured    flesh   and   brushing   my 

beard  with  a  hairbrush, — 
— Breakfast  of  tea,  bread,  and  butter,  at  nine  o'clock 

in  the  morning, 

Sending  my  carpet-bag  onward  I  reached  the  Twicken- 
ham station, 

141 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

(Thanks  to  the  civil  domestics  of  good  Lady  Wald'- 

grave's  establishment,) 
Just  as  the  big  buzzing  brown  booming  bottlegreen 

bumblebizz  boiler 
Stood  on  the  point  of  departing  for  Richmond  and 

England's  metropolis. 

I  say — (and  if  ever  I  said  anything  to  the  contrary  I 
hereby  retract  it) — 

I  say — I  took  away  altogether  unconsciously  your 
borrowed  white  fillagree  handkerchief; 

After  the  lapse  of  a  week  I  will  surely  return  it, 

And  then  you  may  either  devour  it,  or  keep  it,  or 
burn  it, — 

Just  as  you  please.  But  remember,  I  have  not  for- 
gotten, 

After  the  26th  day  of  the  month  of  the  present  July, 

That  is  the  time  I  am  booked  for  a  visit  to  Nuneham. 

Certain  ideas  have  arisen  and  flourished  within  me, 
As  to  a  possible  visit  to  Ireland, — but  nobody 
Comes  to  a  positive  certainty  all  in  a  hurry  : 
If  you  are  free  and  in  London,  next  week  shall  we 
dine  at  the  Blue  Posts  ? 

Both  Mrs.  Clive  and  her  husband  have  written  most 

kindly 
Saying  the   picture   delights   them  (the   Dead   Sea) 

extremely 

142 


Rome   Revisited 

Bother  all  painting!     I  wish  I'd  200  per  annum  ! 
Wouldn't    I    sell   all   my   colours    and    brushes   and 

damnable  messes ! 
Over  the  world  I  should  rove,  North,  South,  East  and 

West,  I  would 
Marrying  a  black  girl  at  last,  and  slowly  preparing  to 

walk  into  Paradise ! 


A  week  or  a  month  hence,  I  will  find  time  to  make  a 

queer  Alphabet, 
All   with   the    letters    beversed    and    be-aided   with 

pictures, 
Which  I  shall  give — (but  don't  tell  him  just  yet)  to 

Charles  Braham's  little  one. 
143 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Just  only  look  in  the  "  Times"  of  to-day  for  accounts 

of  the  "  Lebanon!" 
Now   I   must  stop  this  jaw,   and   write  myself  quite 

simultaneous, 
Yours  with  a  lot  of  affection — the  Globular  foolish 

Topographer. 

E.  L. 

MONDAY  AFTERNOON  18  July. 

1859 
I  think  I  told  you  that  my  sister  Harriett  was  ill,  & 

not  likely  ultimately  to  recover.  The  last  accounts 
however,  were  rather  improved  :  until  on  Saturday 
Evening  a  telegraphic  message  came  to  my  sister  in 
Surrey,  to  say  she  was  worse : — &  on  the  following 
day  a  second  message  told  that  she  had  died  in  the 
course  of  the  night. 

In  any  case  I  should  not  have  been  able  to  go  to 
Lady  W.'s  but  as  it  is  I  am  going  off  to-morrow 
morning,  to  get  to  her  funeral  on  the  following  day  : — 
a  long  journey,  near  Aberdeen. 

There  are  only  now  7  of  us  left  living  out  of  all  the 
21. — My  eldest  sister  is  staying  in  Sussex,  &  we  are 
anxious  about  the  effecl  this  sudden  news  will  have 
on  her. 

Is  there  any  conceivable  history  known  resembling 
this  frightful  Italian  juggle  ? 

And  from  St.  Leonards-on-Sea,  where  he 
had  taken  some  rooms  in  order  to  finish  his 

work  in  quiet,  he  writes  on  the  28th : — 

144 


Rome    Revisited 

My  sister's  death  was  so  sudden  at  the  last,  that  her 
nearer  Scotch  friends  did  not  get  to  see  her  alive,  poor 
thing.  She  however  wrote  a  note  to  another  of  my 
sisters,  only  a  few  hours  before  her  death, — merely  in 
these  words. — "  Do  not  be  grieved  that  I  am  alone  : 
Christ  is  always  with  me  : "  &  there  is  no  doubt  that 
she  died  in  complete  calm  &  happiness.  What  a 
dreary  life  hers  has  been !  &  yet  that  of  thousands 
&  thousands.  "There's  something  in  the  world 
amiss." 

Bye  the  bye,  you  have  not  told  me  of  Guinevere 
yet,  or  perhaps  have  not  had  time  to  read  it.  Of 
course  prudes  are  shocked.  I  should  like  to  tell  you 
some  day  or  other  of  my  argument  with  the  Attorney 
General,  who  contends  A.  T.  is  a  small  poet. 

I  am  inclined  to  think  that  it  is  not  difference  of 
opinion  which  makes  me  intolerant,  so  much  as  a 
certain  injustice,  or  "  force  majeure  "  applied  in  lieu  of 
bona  fide  argument. 

3 1 st.  July.  This  week  past,  &  the  end  of  that  pre- 
ceding it,  have  gone  in  what  I  call  absolute  work ; 
&  although  the  queer  solitude  in  which  I  live  &  the 
displeasing  mill-round  of  toil  is  not  particularly  joyful, 
yet  apart  from  the  thorough  necessity  of  the  daily  life, 
(in  order  that  I  may  be  out  of  debt  if  possible  before 
November,)  I  quite  believe  it  is  a  better  extreme  for 
me  than  the  lounging  existence  to  which  I  can  look 
back  with  no  comfort,  passed,  since  May  i.  in  doing 
nothing,  &  by  expenses  getting  further  into  debt.  I 
believe,  well  as  I  know  how  much  good  I  derive  from 

145  L 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

friends  &  also,  how  often  I  give  them  pleasure,  I  shall 
not  go  into  the  houses  of  the  rich  for  some  long  time 
to  come,  so  painful  to  me  is  the  retrospect  (so  far  as 
regards  myself,)  of  the  time  I  pass  with  them.  I 
except  Red  House,  (&  you  know  how  regularly  I 
worked  there,)  &  my  dear  friends  the  Winwick 
Hornbys  where  I  was  always  at  work  all  day  long. 

This  is  what  I  do  here  : — rise  at  5^,  &  after  6  or  so 
am  at  work  till  8,  breakfast  then  work  till  5 — occa- 
sionally obliged  to  leave  off  on  account  of  sight,  or 
from  utter  weariness,  when  I  do  a  line  or  two  of 
Sophocles,  or  compose  some  new  song  music,  &  at  5 
dinner — to  5!  at  most.  Then  to  7^  paint  again,  and 
by  the  time  the  brushes  are  washed  it  is  nearly  dark, 
&  I  potter  out  to  the  post  with  some  notes  I  may 
have  written,  or  puddle  along  the  shingly  beach  till 
9J — Then,  half  an  hour  Sophocles,  &  bed.  This  is 
unvaried,  barring  the  Sundays,  when  I  go  to  Hastings 
to  dine  with  somebody  or  other — No  "  followers  "  or 
visits  allowed  in  the  week,  nohow. 

I  believe  if  you  go  on  working  that  you  may  &  will 
be  of  great  service  to  your  country  :  but  I  could  point 
out  a  more  rapid  course  of  usefulness,  if  you  did  not 
object  to  the  summary  sacrifice  of  yourself  upon  the 
halter  of  patriotism ;  &  that  is  instantly  to  squash 
Messrs.  Cobden  &  Bright,  by  pistol,  pison,  or  knife, 
as  you  think  phit.  You  would  assuredly  &  properly 
be  hung  for  the  offence,  but  then  think  how  the  state 
would  gain ! 

Meanwhile,  to  me  things  look  bitterly  serious,  as 

146 


Rome   Revisited 

regards  our  own  land,  &  Europe  too.  More  especially 
of  Italy,1  whose  Tuscany  is  at  present  a  beautiful,  but 
lonely  beacon  of  hope — alas !  who  knows  if  fated  to 
burn  or  die  out  ? 

You  may  imagine  how  interested  I  am  in  all  that 
comes  from  Central  Italy.  Whether  Garibaldi  turns 
up  in  the  Legations,  is  a  wonderful  problem  for  a 
week  or  two  to  solve. 

Don't  you  delight  in  Bowyer  &  Macguire  ? 2 
Reading  some  of  the  speeches,  by  them  &  others, 
I  should  feel  if  I  had  to  hear  them,  "  woe  is  me 
as  I  am  constrained  to  dwell  in  these  tents  of 
Kedar!" 

At  present  you  all,  Gladstone  &  Herbert  &  all, 
seem  working  famously  together,  &  Lord  John's 
speech  is  far  beyond  what  I  had  expected. 

Would  it  be  possible  that  a  subscription  should  be 
set  on  foot,  for  national  defences  ?  such  as  "  steam- 
rams  "  &c.,  the  existence  of  which  cannot  be  construed 
as  offensive  ?  3 

1  The  news  of    the  Treaty   of  Villafranca  had    just  been 
received,  which  dashed  the  hopes  of   Italian  patriots  to  the 
ground,  as  it  practically  reduced   the   results   of  the  war  to 
the  expulsion  of  the  Austrians   from    Lombardy  for    a   time. 
The  Tuscans  issued  a  proclamation    that  they  would  never 
again  submit  to  the  yoke  of  Austria. 

2  They  delivered  speeches  on  our  policy  with  regard  to  Italian 
affairs,  the  subject  having  been  introduced  in  a  lengthy  explana- 
tion by  Lord  John  Russell. 

3  The  success  of  the  French  arms  in  Italy  revived  the  in- 
vasion panic  in  England,  and  various  schemes  for  defence  were 
proposed. 

147 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

119,  MARINA, 

ST.  LEONARD'S  ON  SEA 

Sept.  2nd  1859. 

.  .  .  All  the  little  time  I  have  away  from  painting 
goes  in  Greek.  Would  you  believe  it,  &  TroAujuox^V 
Undersecretary  for  the  Colonies,  I  am  nearly  half 
through  OiStVoue  ITTI  KoXovoi 2 — yes,  and  understand  it 
well  too.  I  am  almost  thanking  God  that  I  was 
never  educated,  for  it  seems  to  me  that  999  of  those 
who  are  so,  expensively  and  laboriously,  have  lost  all 
before  they  arrive  at  my  age — and  remain  like  Swift's 
Stulbruggs — cut  and  dry  for  life,  making  no  use  of 
their  earlier-gained  treasures :  whereas,  I  seem  to  be 
on  the  threshold  of  knowledge,  and  at  least  have  a 
long  way  to  the  chilling  certainty  which  most  men 
methinks  should  have,  that  all  labour  for  light  is  vain 
and  time  thrown  away. 

119,  MARINA.  ST.  LEONARDS  ON  SEA. 

Septbr.  2.  1859. 

I  feel  a  kind  ol  placid  sort  of  progress  here,  where 
no  one  hardly  interrupts  me, — a  kind  of  feeling  like  a 
snails  belly-crawling  existence.  F.  Lushington  came 
over  one  day  &  night,  &  that  was  a  vast  pleasure. 

George Middleton, 3  Col.  Leakes4  nephew,  camefrom 
Dover : — &  my  old  friend  Anthony  Chester's  daughter 
called  to-day.  The  sisters  of  Sir  John  Potter  live 
at  Hastings,  &  I  dine  with  them  or  at  the  Martineaux,5 

1  "  Much  labouring."  2  "  Oedipus  on  Colonies." 

3  Son  of  Admiral  R.  G.  Middleton. 

4  Colonel  W.  Martin- Leake. 

s  R.  B.  Martineau,  the  painter,  a  pupil  of  W.  Holman  Hunt's. 

148 


Rome    Revisited 

on  Sundays,  at  which  latter  house  Holman  Hunt  is 
staying.  And  I  suppose  Fowler l  may  come  to- 
morrow, &  the  Fortescue  I  hope  in  a  week  or  two. 
My  life  is  this  : — wake  at  5^  &  rise  &  work  till  8  : 
at  which  time  Helen,  a  distant  relation  of  Mrs. 
Menelaus,  gets  breakfast  ready.  I  like  Helen  very 
much  as  a  handy  little  housemaid.  Then  I  work, 
writing  a  little  Greek  first,  till  1 1  (Eire)  newspaper  :  & 
pretty  interesting  it  is  now-a-day's  !  after  which  work 
till  two.  Eat,  (and  if  possible,  digest,)  a  triangular 
bit  of  cake,  &  then  work  again  till  6J.  Then  walk 
till  7J  when  I  return  &  dine,  generally  on  a  tabular 
&  durable  but  not  soft  piece  of  beef,  with  a  jug  of 
table  beer.  (For  a  long  time  I  fed  on  an  immense  leg 
of  mutton,  far,  far  larger  than  any  leg  of  mutton  I 
ever  saw  before  or  since.  But  one  day  I  remembered 
that  I  had  gone  to  the  window  to  see  a  Circus  Com- 
pany go  by,  &  attached  to  that  there  was  an  Elephant : 
— and  then  the  horrid  recollection  that  the  Circus  had 
long  since  returned,  (I  saw  it  pass  by)  but  the  elephant 
never  had.  From  that  moment  I  felt  what  that  large 
leg  of  preposterous  mutton  really  was,  "  e  non  mangiar 
avante  "  2  &  on  the  whole  I  do  not  recommend  dead 
elephant  as  daily  food.)  After  dinner  I  do  Greek  till 
ten  &  then  go  to  bed.  At  meal  times  I  read.  And 
just  now  am  reading  a  curious  book  which  interests 
me  a  good  deal,  &  in  some  things  would  you  also,  all 
the  more  that  the  first  part  of  the  life  of  the 

1  D.  Fowler,  a  Canadian  friend  and  artist. 
*  "And  I  did  not  eat  any  more." 
149 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Authoress,1  (a  Gal  ton  &  Gurney),  passed  at  Great 
Barr  Hall  :  F.  Scotts.  The  Lady  Scott  is  I  suppose, 
Sir  Francis'  grandmother.  This  book  "  Life  of  Mary 
AnneSchimmelpenninck,"  has  many  curious  anecdotes 
of  the  people  of  the  end  of  the  last  century,  &  to  me 
is  peculiarly  amusing,  as  bringing  back  much  of  my 
early  life.  The  amount  of  confused  enthusiasm  & 
splombonglified  religion  is  twaddly  at  times,  yet  throws 
a  light  on  some  parts  of  the  lives  of  a  great  mass  of 
ones  countrymen  &  women  : — a  sort  of  wide  narrow- 
ness, so  to  speak :  at  least,  Mrs.  M.  A.  Skimmywiggle 
was  as  wide  a  Xtian  as  can  be  found  in  that  lot  of 
sectarians. — Besides  this  I  read  various  other  books  : 
Volney  to  wit,  which  I  have  read  before,  &  which  I 
shall  not  send  to  my  sister  Ann  certainly. 

Of  pictures  the  two  for  Mr.  Potter  (Athos  &  Corfu) 
are  all  but  done  : — &  will  be  when  you  come.  The  2 
for  Mr.  Edwards — Corfu  &  Petra  theatre,  are  far 
advanced,  &  look  well :  yet  such  is  my  nature,  that  at 
times  I  perceive  them  to  be  quite  bad  &  useless  & 
never  to  be  completed,  whenever  ruin  &  debt  arise  in 
perspective  &  the  bars  of  a  prison  instead  of  a  familiar 
gridiron  of  cheapcooking.  The  other  two,  Campagna 
acqueducts  (for  Mr.  Heywood)  &  a  large  Eastern  Cliff 
of  Petra  for  T.  Fairbairn,  are  less  advanced.  The 
Judaea  journal  goes  on,  but  as  yet  I  see  no  way  to  its 
publication  with  illustrations. 

1  Hankin's  "  Life  of  Mrs.  Schimmelpenninck  "  was  published 
in  1858.  She  was  a  daughter  of  Samuel  Galton  of  Birmingham, 
and  after  her  marriage  with  a  Dutchman,  became  a  Moravian. 

150 


Rome    Revisited 

I  hope  you  will  work,  have  worked,  &  are  working 
&  shall  be  about  to  have  been  working,  colonially  : 
I  hope  to  see  you  Col.  Sec.  one  of  these  days,  if  you 
work  that  is — not  because  you  are  on  the  steps  of  the 
ladder  &  should  therefore  gradually  get  to  the  top.  But 
I  shall  hope  to  see  you  here — for  you  would  also  like 
this  place.  But  let  me  have  a  day's  notice  that  I  may 
get  you  some  Elephantine  food  and  adamantine  beef. 

119.  MARINA,  ST.  LEONARDS  ON  SEA. 

7.  Sept.  1859. 

You  are  a  blessing  to  your  friends,  &  would  be  to 
your  enemies  if  you  had  any,  which  I  suppose  you 
haven't.  However,  you  will  be  still  more  laudable  if 
you  come  down.  I  shall  work  horribly  in  the  hope  of 
seeing  you  on  Saturday.  You  shall  have  some  soles, 
a  leg  of  mutton,  &  some  varicose  pudding  of  some 
sort.  Will  sing  immensely.  Mr.  &  Mrs.  Fuller  are 
gone,  &  you  shall  sleep  in  her  bed,  which  is  a  much 
better  one  than  can  be  got  at  a  nin.  I  shan't  ask 
Lord  C.  Hamilton 1  or  the  "  Abercorns,"  or  Lord 
Jocelyn,2  who  are  here  :  because  perhaps  they  would 
not  come. 

My  dear  boy  : — I  don't  want  any  money  &  fresh 
borrowing  would  only  distress  me  more.  I  am  thought 
wrong  by  some  for  want  of  independence  in  ever 
borrowing  at  all,  but,  I  am  sure  that  is  not  a  right 

1  Lord  Claud  Hamilton,  M.P.,  brother  of  the  Marquess  of 
Abercorn,  and  brother-in-law  of  Lord  Proby. 

2  The  third  Earl  of  Roden,  Auditor-General  of  the  Exchequer 
in  Ireland,  and  Gustos  rotulorum  of  the  County  Louth. 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

view  of  things,  for  my  whole  life  from  14  years  has 
been  independentissimo,  &  on  the  other  hand,  the 
man  who  will  not  put  himself  under  obligation  of  any 
kind  to  even  the  friends  who  entirely  sympathize  with 
his  progress — nourishes  in  my  opinion,  a  selfish  & 
icicle  sort  of  pride.  It  is  as  much  a  pleasure  to  me 
to  own  that  I  have  been  helped  by  you,  J.  Cross,  J.  B. 
Harford,1  S.  Clowes,  W.  Neville,  &  B.  H.  Hunt,  as 
it  is  to  look  back  on  the  fact  of  my  having  repaid  (in 
most  cases,  &  to  be  so  in  all,)  what  was  lent  me  in 
money  ;  I  have  no  wish  whatever  to  shake  off  the 
moral  acknowledgement  of  given  assistance. 

I  see,  in  spite  of  Fibbenson  Gorgias's  offer,  a  certain 
Herbert2  has  been  named  Secretary.  I  see  Storx 
has  prorogued  the  Ionian  parliament. 

I  had  a  nice  letter  from  good  merry  Morier  yester- 
day : — a  cheerful  &  nice  fellow :  but  I  don't  wonder 
he  don't  like  Berlin  waav  Vienna. 

What  do  you  think  of  Rome  ?  Macbean  has  gone 
or  is  going  back,  &  takes  Mrs.  M. — saying  that  proves 
he  considers  quiet  ahead.  But  if  this  Pesaro  battle  3 
fall  out  for  the  Italians,  the  Holy  Fathers  will  certainly 
be  uncomfortable. 

1  John   Battersby    Harford,     afterwards    of    Blaise    Castle, 
Gloucestershire,  who  married  the  third  daughter  of  Baron  de 
Bunsen. 

2  R.  G.  W.    Herbert  was  appointed  Colonial  Secretary  to 
Queensland. 

3  The  pontifical  army  of  mercenaries  had  made  Pesaro  their 
headquarters,  and  were  said  to  be  preparing  for  an  attack  upon 
Romagna. 

152 


Rome    Revisited 

Is  Newton  l  gone  to  Rome  yet  ?  I  shall  ask  you  for 
a  letter  to  him  if  as  how  you  knows  him. 

119.  MARINA.  ST.  LEONARDS-ON-SEA. 

21.  Octbr.  1859. 

Returning  from  seeing  my  beloved  parent,  (Holman 
Hunt,)  safe  to  the  Railway,  I  find  your  letter,  together 
with  one  from  J.  Harford,  a  highly  friendly  concatena- 
tion of  correspondenx. 

And  being  so  cold  just  now  I  can't  go  to  bed,  & 
yet  am  only  half  awake,  I  shall  endeavour  to  scrawl  a 
line  to  thank  you  for  your  last,  &  to  epopsimate  the 
fangropunxious  feelings  of  my  buzzim. 

To-day  came  a  letter  from  my  sister  Ann,  telling  me 
of  some  from  New  Zealand.  Sarah  is  on  her  way 
home  : — &  her  leaving  the  Warepa  seems  to  me  a 
sort  of  signal  of  break-up  in  her  family,  added  to  by 
my  nephew's  wife's  illness,  one  of  increasing  incura- 
bility it  appears  to  me,  and  which  I  suppose  has 
very  much  altered  their  views  &  plans.  It  seems 
that  they  have  let  their  so  increasingly  prosperous 
farm,  &  that  my  nephew  has  got  a  situation  of  £200 
a  year  at  Dunedin,  "under  Government,"  is  all  they 
(or  rather  my  sister  Ann,)  mention  : — while  the  other 
sister  and  her  husband  leave  N.  Zealand  altogether. 
This  does  not  seem  to  me  a  grand  conclusion  to  the 
7  years  stay  there  of  the  Street  family,  but  I  suppose 

1  Mr.  (afterwards.  Sir)  Charles  Newton  the  archasologist,  of 
British  Museum  fame.  He  had  just  been  appointed  Consul  at 
Rome. 

153 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

the  departure  of  my  energetic  sister,  &  the  illness  of 
my  nephew's  wife,  have  brought  it  about. 

As  for  poor  Mary  &  her  unpleasant  husband,  they 
have  gone  to  Melbourne,  &  I  hope  will  get  a  letter 
sent  by  a  brother  of  his,  well  to  do,  in  St.  Louis,  ask- 
ing them  to  go  to  America  : — where  I  think  poor 
Mary  would  be  at  rest,  for  her  brother-in-law  married 
one  of  her  earlier  friends.  Mary  writes  of  Sarah,1  "  It 
was  very  strange  to  see  how  Sarah  did  all  the  work  of 
the  house  &  farm  after  Sophy  was  taken  ill  : — for  4 
months  she  did  really  every  actual  thing  except  the 
washing : — bread  daily  made  for  all  7  in  number, 
butter-making,  cooking,  &  all  the  cleaning  up,  besides 
always  hearing  the  little  girl's  lessons :  and  yet  she 
was  always  dressed  at  4  o'clock,  &  had  the  evening  for 
writing  reading  or  music."  To  which  sister  Ann  adds, 
"  my  dear,  Sarah  is  a  wonderful  woman ! "  And  she 
ain't  far  wrong,  as  to  energies  at  66. 

I  have  sent  you  a  long  scrawl  of  family  talk,  but  I 
know  it  won't  bore  you.  You  are  a  very  queer 
Secretary  of  State,  who  don't  get  altered  by  your 
conditions  &  positions,  as  far  as  I  can  see,  nohow. 

My  kind  respects  to  Mrs.  Ruxton  :  also  remem- 
brances at  Ravensdale.  Quite  distinct  from  all  these 
give  my  love  to  Dr.  Cullen,2  if  you  see  him,  and  to 
Dr.  Gumming  3  also  — :  I  take  it,  two  nasty  yet 

1  Sarah  was  Mrs.  Street,  and  Sophy  the  daughter-in-law. 

a  The  Archbishop  of  Dublin,  a  Roman  Catholic  of  the  extreme 
party. 

3  A  minister  of  the  National  Scottish  Church,  noted  as  a 
prominent  controversialist. 

154 


Rome   Revisited 

approximate  extremes.  O  dear  me !  there  is  a  good 
deal  to  say  about  my  picture  of  Bassse  J  &  many  more 
mompophlious  matters  :  but  the  dim  lamp  wanes  :  the 
dark  sea  moans  &  roars,  and  it  is  time  that  I  should 
go  to  bed.  Good-night. 

These  are  the  most  bestest  lodgings  I've  been  in 
for  a  long  time. 

15,  STRATFORD  PLACE,  OXFORD  STREET, 

qth  November 

O!  Mimber  for  the  County  Louth 

Residing  at  Ardee ! 
Whom  I,  before  I  wander  South 

Partik'lar  wish  to  see : — 

I  send  you  this. — That  you  may  know 

I've  left  the  Sussex  shore, 
And  coming  here  two  days  ago 

Do  cough  for  evermore. 

Or  gasping  hard  for  breath  dc  sit 

Upon  a  brutal  chair, 
For  to  lie  down  in  Asthma  fit 

Is  what  I  cannot  bear. 

Or  sometimes  sneeze  :  and  always  blow 

My  well-develloped  nose. 
And  altogether  never  know 

No  comfort  nor  repose. 

All  through  next  week  I  shall  be  here, 

To  work  as  best  I  may, 
On  my  last  picture,  which  is  near- 

-er  finished  every  day. 


1  A  great  picture  of  this  subject  by  Lear  is  in  the  Fitzwilliam 
Museum  at  Cambridge,  subscribed  for  and  presented  by  his 
friends. 

155 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

But  after  the  thirteenth— (that's  Sunday) 

I  must — if  able — start 
(Or  on  the  Tuesday  if  not  Monday,) 

For  England's  Northern  part. 

And  thence  I  only  come  again 

Just  to  pack  up  and  run 
Somewhere  where  life  may  less  be  pain, 

And  somewhere  where  there's  sun. 

So  then  I  hope  to  hear  your  ways 

Are  bent  on  English  moves 
For  that  I  trust  once  more  to  gaze 

Upon  the  friend  I  loves. 

(Alas  !  Blue  Posts  I  shall  not  dare 

To  visit  ere  I  go — 
Being  compulsed  to  take  such  care 

Of  all  the  winds  as  blow.) 

But  if  you  are  not  coming  now 

Just  write  a  line  to  say  so — 
And  I  shall  still  consider  how 

Ajoskyboskybayso. 

No  more  my  pen  :  no  more  my  ink : 

No  more  my  rhyme  is  clear. 
So  I  shall  leave  off  here  I  think — 

Yours  ever, 

EDWARD  LEAR. 


156 


CHAPTER  VI 
December,   1859,  to  March,   1861 

ROME  AND  A  WINTER  IN  ENGLAND 

HPHE  Treaty  of  Villafranca  was  signed  at 
•*•  Zurich  on  the  nth  of  November,  1859, 
and  it  was  proposed  to  hold  a  Congress  of 
European  Powers  to  settle  the  affairs  of  Central 
Italy.  This,  however,  was  rendered  impossible 
by  the  publication  of  the  famous  pamphlet, 
"  Le  Pape  et  le  Congres,"  which  was  inspired 
directly  by  the  Emperor  himself,  advocating 
the  abandonment  by  the  Pope  of  all  his 
temporal  possessions  except  Rome.  Austria 
was  so  offended  that  she  refused  to  attend  the 
Congress  unless  the  French  Government  dis- 
claimed the  views  put  forward  in  the  brochure ; 
but  this  they  refused  to  do. 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

HOTEL  BRISTOL,  MARSEILLE. 

26.  Decbr.  1859. 

I  shall   write  a   scribblebibble  from   here,  so  that 
you  may  feel    it   borne   in   upon   you   that   you   are 

157 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

a  letter  in  my  debt,  &  so  that  I  may  the  sooner 
hear  from  you  in  the  Holy  City,  where,  selon  the 
Times,  we  are  all  to  "  pray,  &  dig  in  the  ruins, 
and  contemplate,  &  study  art,  and  pray  over  again." 
Which  reminds  one  that  the  "  Brochure  "  (of  course 
you  have  read  it  by  this  time,)  is  making  a  sensation 
in  all  France  not  to  be  conceived.  The  whole  railway 
libraries  are  full  of  copies,  &  every  tenth  person 
seems  to  buy  one.  And  the  eagerness  with  which 
the  Reviews  of  it  are  read  is  wonderful.  It  seems  to 
be  quite  understood  as  the  Emperor's  policy  or  will 
made  public,  &  I  have  heard  from  some  who  have 
known  a  good  deal  from  being  with  his  train  all 
through  the  Lombard  battles,  that  it  is  believed  that 
he  has  fully  decided  on  throwing  over  the  Clerical 
party,  &  leaning  on  the  Military  only.  The  tightest 
screw  is  put  on  the  press  organs  of  the  former,  so 
this  does  not  seem  improbable.  Surely  the  Cardinal 
A.1  will  hardly  have  a  pleasant  voyage,  "  knowing 
all  his  own  mischance,  with  a  seasick  countenance,"  & 
perhaps  reading  the  "  Brochure  "  between  vomitings. 

My  own  doings  hereto  have  been  most  fortunate : 
Thackeray  was  on  board  the  Folkestone  steamer, 
and  the  weather  was  propishous.  The  great  man 
was  very  amiable  &  gave  me  No.  i.  of  his  new 
magazine,  "The  Cornhill."  Also  I  heard,  the  night 
I  got  to  Folkestone,  &  saw  in  the  papers  that 
Mrs.  S.  G.  had  eloped  with  her  fuliginous  footman 
&  was  to  be  on  board  next  day,  a  report  which 

1  Antonelli,  the  Cardinal  Secretary  of  the  Papal  Government. 

' 


Rome  and  a  Winter  in  England 

shocked  me,  as  I  know  the  S.  Gs.  I  was  therefore 
pleased  on  the  23rd.  to  find  that  the  lady  was 
Mrs.  J.  G. — which  I  did  not  care  about  &  which 
her  footman  was  white  &  she  carried  a  small  spaniel 
in  her  faithless  arms.  At  Paris  I  went  to  the  Hotel 
du  Grand  Louvre,  &  never  was  so  comfortable  in 
Paris  before,  which  the  service  &  the  beds  &  the 
cooking  were  all  good.  At  8  on  the  24th.  P.M.,  I 
set  off  hither,  &  arrived  here  before  4  yesterday,  this 
being  also  a  most  good  little  Hotel  &  new  to  me. 
Lo !  on  the  dinner  table  there  was  roast  beef,  turkey 
&  a  plumpudding.  There  are  some  vulgarry  people 
here  going  to  Rome,  &  a  capital  military  doctor  from 
India,  who  I  wish  was  going  but  aint. 

In  the  rail  yesterday  was  an  intelligent  man  going 
to  Cannes,  I  do  not  know  who.  He  told  me  some- 
things that  interested  me,  viz. — that  the  successor  of 
Saunders,1  a  firstrate  consul  for  so  many  years  in 
Albania,  is  one  Cathcart ; 2  whom  he  describes  as  a 
man  of  family  &  interest,  but  speaking  no  language 
but  his  own,  &  looking  on  Prevesa  as  an  exile  and 
thereby  still  lingering  in  London.  I  could  not  but 
agree  with  him  that  the  neglect  of  our  consulships  is 
a  far  more  dangerous  evil  to  the  English  name  & 
commonwealth  than  is  cared  to  be  considered,  &  that 
the  opposite  system  with  our  neighbours  here  is  one 

1  Sidney  Smith  Saunders  (knighted  in  1873)  was  appointed 
Consul-General  in  the  Ionian  Islands  on  their  cession  to  Greece 
in  1864. 

*  Major  Andrew  Cathcart. 

159 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

of  their  greatest  implements  in  that  success  no  one 
can  deny  them  as  daily  increasing  all  over  the  world. 
I  know  it  would  be  said  that  a  public  school  for  lan- 
guage competition  &  consular  qualities  would  not  be 
tolerated  in  England,  as  being  ostentatiously  conducive 
to  the  spread  of  foreign  convictions  as  to  our  wish  for 
"  overrunning  the  world  "  &c.  &c.  But  surely  some- 
thing like  a  better  system  might  gradually  be  attained 
to  if  it  were  fixed  that  2  or  more  secretaries  should  be 
attached  to  each  consul  generalship,  with  a  view  to 
education  in  the  lingo  &  manners  of  the  countries,  so 
as  that  the  head  being  removed,  one  of  the  secretaries 
should  succeed ! 

Thus,  Wood,1  undeniably  the  complete  Consul- 
general  in  all  points,  being  sent  to  Tunis  from 
Damascus,  after  years  of  perfection  in  Arabic,  in 
knowledge  of  the  country  &  its  people,  &  in  general 
influence, — why  should  the  place  of  such  a  man  be 
filled  by  an  excellent  old  man  from  Erzeroum,  70 
years  of  age,  &  not  knowing  a  syllable  of  Arabic  ? 
Or  that  Saunders,  the  beau  ideal  of  activity  &  zeal,  & 
knowing  Greek  &  Turkish  for  years,  should  not  be 
followed  by  at  least  one  who  has  some  portion  of  his 
mantle !  I  grant  that  Wood  is  good  for  Tunis,  & 
that  Saunders  is  good  for  Alexandria,  but  why  fill  up 
their  posts  by  haphazard,  &  thus  undo  all  that  has 
been  done  for  years.  Both  in  Damascus  and  Albania 
now,  a  good  French  Consul  could  prevent  our  position 

1  Sir  Richard  Wood  was  Consul-General  at  Tunis  from  1855 
to  1879, 

160 


Rome  and  a  Winter  in  England 

in  trade  &  influence  from  ever  becoming  what  it  has 
been.  (Moreover,  if  you  want  illustrations  of  the  blind 
fool-system,  I  do  happen  to  know  that  the  Gov. 
offered  Saunders  the  Consulship  of  a  place  in  S. 
America !  so  fit  to  bring  out  the  talents  used  for  30 
years  in  the  Levant !) 

I  do  not  think  anyone  Gov.  is  chargeable  with 
these  defects,  but  the  whole  system  should  be  changed 
&  revised.  Could  you  not  set  about  such  a  plan,  by 
a  pamphlet  or  private  influence,  calling  public  or 
Government  interest  to  the  subject,  which  I  think 
you  would  agree  with  me,  is  one  of  very  great 
importance.  I  suppose  however,  you  have  but  little 
time  yourself,  but  you  might  tread  on  Lord  John's 
toes  or  bully  Lord  P[almerston]. 

Let  me  hear  from  you  as  often  as  you  can.  I  am 
in  horrible  misery  just  now,  remembering  a  brutal 
letter  I  wrote  you  just  a  year  ago.  My  sins  are 
always  like  chronic  fever,  which  return  at  stated 
intervals,  or  rather  like  pains  in  amputated  feet, 
which  are  felt  after  the  limb  is  long  removed. 

9.  VIA  CONDOTTI.  ROMA. 

6.  Janry.  1860. 

(loth.  Janry.) 

In  vain  is  the  net  spread  in  the  sight  of  any  bird, 
which  means  obscurely  that  this  sheet  was  begun  to 
be  written  on  directly  I  got  your's  of  the  28th.  Dec., 
but  although  that  blank  paper  has  laid  on  the  table 
ever  since,  the  bird  has  never  settled  on  it.  All 

161  M 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

things  go  on  as  before  the  fathers  fell  asleep.     But 

0  Lord!   wouldn't   the   fathers  or  anyone   else   fall 
asleep   here   now!     You   never   saw   such  a  desert! 
there  are  only  200  or  250  English  here  par  example, 
instead  of  1800  or  2000: — &  the  streets  are  literally 
empty. 

The  whole  atmosphere  of  social  &  moral  life  is 
indeed  a  painful  mess  of  bad,  and  doubt.  Yet  I  can 
give  you  no  light  as  to  future — nor  could  anyone. 
Things  are  so  much  more  equally  balanced  here  than 
in  any  other  part  of  Italy  that  it  is  more  than  doubtful 
what  might  happen  here  even  if  the  French  troops 
were  withdrawn.  For  you  can  imagine,  fools  & 
empty  as  they  are,  all  the  Roman  nobles  are  so 
linked  by  blood  and  interest  with  the  present 
Government  that  they  certainly  would  not  join  any 
attempt  at  a  new  system  of  things, — and  again,  the 
middle  classes  are  also,  thro'  centuries,  partly  tied  up 
in  the  same  boat :  and  the  whole  mass  is  such  a 
stagnation  of  pride  &  ignorance  &  superstition  that 

1  believe,    if    God    Almighty   were   to   come   down 
Himself,  they  wouldn't  have  a   single   benefit  from 
Him   if  He   were   not  a   "  Roman."     On  the  other 
hand,   I  hear  from  some  who  know  how  things  are, 
that   a   great   portion    of  educated    men — advocates 
etc : — would  raise  a  new  standard,  and  would  depend 
on  external  aid.     This  may  be :  I   cannot  tell ;  &  I 
never  enquire  or  politicalize  a  bit,  for  that  wouldn't 
do  here  at  all. 

One  thing  is  sure,  the  violence  of  the  clerical  or 

162 


Rome  and  a  Winter  in  England 

extreme  Tory  party  is  intense,  which  looks  as  if  they 
feared  a  good  deal.  And  the  way  in  which  the  high 
Church  idiots  here  curse  the  revolutionary  folk  & 
weep  for  the  P[ope]  is  a  thing  to  laugh  at  or  be 
disgusted  with.  Intanto  a  complete  constraint  & 
gloom  pervades  all  the  city — &,  inasmuch  as  I  hated 
it  last  year,  I  do  so  now  a  thousandfold  more  for  its 
odious  false  anti-human  reason  atmosphere.  Giorgio 
says, — "  almeno  in  Gerusalemme  si  poteva  vedere  un 
camelo  morte  e  qualchi  Arabi  : — ma  qui  non  c'e 
nulla."  —  Fortunately  for  me,  Dr.  Kennedy l  of 
Shrewsbury  school,  Tyrwhitt 2  of  C.  Church,  Oxford, 
&  one  or  more  are  here,  &  Newton  the  new  Consul 
also,  who  seems  a  nice  fellow.  If  he  has  force 
enough  to  set  up  this  consulate  on  a  new  basis  Vie 
will  do  no  little  good  to  his  countrymen  : — but,  for 
many  causes  he  has  no  easy  task, 

(O  dear  me  !  what  a  odd  hurried  boshy  life  it  is  !  all 
fuss  &  so  little  rest !  "  still  from  one  trouble  to  another 
thrown.") 

The  Ross's  of  Bladensburg  3  are  here  : — I  hear 
they  are  very  Papal — but  on  a  queer  scent,  viz : 
Urquhartism — &  considering  that  L[ouis]  N[apoleon] 
is  acting  always  under  the  Emperor  of  Russia! 


1  Headmaster  of  Shrewsbury  and  the  greatest  classical  teacher 
of  his  day. 

2  Richard  St.  John  Tyrwhitt,  known  chiefly  by  his  writings 
on  art. 

3  David  Ross  of  Bladensburg,  of  Rosstrevor,  Co.  Down,  and 
his  wife,  a  sister  of  Viscount  Massereene  and  Ferrard. 

163 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

They  deny  the  Perugia  affair,1  I  am  told,  wholly. 
Ld  Rendlesham  2  is  the  only  peer  &  Lord  Pollington,3 
a  peer's  son ;  no  markisses,  nor  dukes,  nor  baronets, 
nor  nothing.  Most  of  the  Hotels  are  more  or  less 
shut  up,  &  the  lodging  houses  also.  The  beggars  are 
ravenous  &  demonstrative  to  a  fearful  degree.  Says 
I  to  myself,  glad  I  shall  be,  when  I  am  free,  O  Rome 
from  thee,  &  over  the  sea,  high  diddledydee.  I  must 
go  to  bed  &  finish  this  blessed  epissel  tomorrow. 
Goodnight.  E.  L.  .  .  . 

Jan.  ii.  The  class  or  caste  of  Artistes  here  have 
always  been  in  a  queer  position,  with  the  exception  of 
one  or  two,  I  for  one  don't  choose  to  go  to  swell 
houses  &  stand  against  a  doorpost  &  be  stared  at  if 
I  speak,  as  used  to  be  the  case  in  some  places : — 
which  modes  of  life  I  have  long  given  over.  Your 
Lady  W[aldegrave],  is  after  all  the  finest  specimen  of 
a  real  woman  in  a  swell  place  one  knows  of,  &  I 
wish  to  goodness  she  was  here,  though  you  don't. 
There  would  be  talk  enough  for  us  two  here  for 
weeks,  &  I  wish  horribly  you  could  run  over,  but  the 
parliament  won't  let  you,  besides  the  Colonies. 

Card.  Wiseman  is  here,  &  such  a  nest  of  Bishops 

1  In  July,  1859,  the  people  of  Perugia  expelled  the  Papal 
legate,  whereupon  the  Pope  despatched  a  body  of  Swiss  mer- 
cenaries, who  sacked  and  pillaged  the  place.  There  was  a 
great  outcry,  and  a  commission  was  held  to  inquire  into  the 
matter. 

a  The  fifth  Baron,  at  this  time  a  young  man  of  nineteen. 

3  Eldest  son  of  the  third  Earl  of  Mexborough.  Succeeded 
to  the  title  the  following  year. 

164 


Rome  and  a  Winter  in  England 

&  Irish  R.C.'s!  (Dundalk  Bowyer,1  among  the  rest, 
whom  I  might  meet  if  I  liked,  but  I  hate  the  lot, 
&  go  near  none  of  them).  Yesterdays  talk  is  all 
about  the  intemperate  anger  of  the  "Aytog  narrjg,2  who 
absolutely  blew  up  &  bullied  the  Jews,  on  their  annual 
visit  of  congratulation,  he  being  very  sore  just  now 
about  the  Mortara  boy. 3  He  is  known  to  have  laughed 
&  said  "What!  you  are  still  hoping  to  get  back  the 
boy  ? "  &c.  &c.  Cheer  up,  as  the  limpet  said  to  the 
weeping  willow  : — &  forgive  me  for  not  writing  before. 
Give  my  kindest  regards,  or  however  you  may 
word  them,  to  Lady  Waldegrave.  In  the  depths 
of  my  misery  o,n  board  the  Marseilles  boat,  when 
I  lost  my  head  from  excess  of  illness,  I  for  a  time, 
continually  saw  the  Punch  &  Judy  at  Strawberry 
Hill,  with  the  little  children  laughing,  &  Lady  W. 
in  that  browny  grey  =i=  striped  dress  &  little  hat. 
Moral : — people  as  does  kindnesses  to  others  does 

1  Sir  George  Bowyer.  M.P.  for  Dundalk,  joined  the  Church  of 
Rome  in  1850,  and  became  chamberlain  to  Pope  Pius  IX.     He 
built  the  church  of  St.  John  of  Jerusalem,  Great  Ormonde  Street, 
Bloomsbury. 

2  Holy  Father. 

a  In  June,  1858,  a  Jewish  boy,  Edgar  Mortara,  was  forcibly 
seized  from  his  parents  by  order  of  Cardinal  Viale  Preta,  Arch- 
bishop of  Bologna  and  Legate  of  Pope  Pius  IX.,  because  it  was 
alleged  that  he  had  been  baptized  when  an  infant  by  a  Roman 
Catholic  maidservant.  Intense  feeling  was  aroused  throughout 
Europe  by  the  refusal  of  the  Court  of  Rome  to  restore  the  boy, 
in  spite  of  representations  from  -the  French  Government  and 
a  monster  petition  of  Jews  and  of  British  Christians,  headed 
by  the  signatures  of  the  Archbishops  of  Canterbury,  Dublin, 
and  York. 

165 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

more  than  they  think  for  to  them  as  they  knows 
nothing  about  doing  them  for  particular. 

I  wrote  to  ask  A.  Tennyson  to  come  here,  but 
hardly  think  he  will  turn  up : — it  would  be  the  very 
quietest  year  he  could  ever  come  in,  &  there  will  be 
no  row  while  the  French  are  here.  I  had  hopes  of 
coming  to  see  somewhat  of  Newton  the  new  Consul, 
(of  whom  be  it  said  he  is  a  clever  &  sensible  fellow, 
&  is  putting  the  B.M's  consulate  already  into  a 
respectable  position,  which  it  never  has  been  before 
in  my  time,)  but  he  is  collapsed  into  business,  or  daily 
society,  so  that  I  have  lost  sight  of  him.  The  New 
Zealand  sister  is  expected  in  England  every  week. 
Ann  is  for  the  present  staying  at  my  widow-sister's,  & 
I  much  wish  that  that  arrangement  may  prosper 
&  abide,  as  I  find  that  my  brother-in-law  left  his 
property  all  to  his  wife  &  uncontrolled.  Are  my  four 
Idylls  songs  published  at  Cramer's  yet  ?  Dear  me ! 
I  think  life  is  a  great  bore  :  particularly  when  the 
chimney  smokes,  &  one  has  a  cold  in  the  head. 

Your  Government  seems  pretty  serene  altogether, 
&  I  greatly  hope  will  stand  fast.  I  thought  Lord 
P[almerston]s  speech  l  very  good.  The  priest  party 
here  take  the  Q's  speech  mention  of  Italy  as  all  on 
their  side  :  which  is  amusing  :  "  I  will  not  interfere 
to  prevent  the  Italians  shaking  off  the  tyranny  of 

1  A  speech  in  answer  to  Mr.  Disraeli,  stating  that  the  Com- 
mercial treaty  with  France  had  been  signed,  and  justifying  its 
provisions.  Also  vindicating  England's  policy  of  non-inter- 
ference with  regard  to  Italy 

1 66 


Rome  and  a  Winter  in  England 

rebels "  they  say  it  means.  I  saw  a  letter  in  the 
"  Times "  of  the  27th  (strictly  suppressed  here  in 
public  of  course)  which  was  certainly  strong,  but  true 
enough.  It  was  written  by  Gallenga,  who  was  sent 
off  by  the  police  with  a  3  days  notice. 

The  most  interesting  person  here  is  a  Major 
Reynolds,  which  was  occupied  in  Bundelcund  a 
catching  Thugs.  His  description  of  Thuggee  is  vast. 
Also  his  sister  is  quite  apart  from  the  crew  of  fools  : 
seeing  she  reads  Sophocles  &  Plato.  Do  you  see 
my  dear  old  friend  Colonel  Leake  is  dead  ?  This 
distressed  me  a  good  deal 

9.  V.  CONDOTTI.    ROMA. 

22.  March.  1860. 

I  am  rather  beshamed  that  I  have  not  written  to 
you  for  so  long : — &  you  are  a  cheerful  cherub  to 
send  me  the  nice  letter — date  I3th.,  which  has  just 
been  brought  in  by  George,  who  says  also  "  ertxeua&n 
•n  iiravaffraOig"  i  alluding  to  what  happened  the  night 
before  last,  of  which  anon. — You  in  truth  go  on 
with  wonderful  "  Abercombiness "  &  regularity,  & 
the  day  will  come  when  you  will  be  as  43  giants. 

The  "Echo"  story  is  good.2 

1  u  The  revolution  has  been  worked." 

2  "  Have  you  ever  heard  the  story  of  the  Echo  of  Villafranca  ? 
Here    it    is.     After  their   peace    the    two    Emperors,    riding 
together,  came  to  a  place  among  the  hills  where  there  is  a 
famous  echo.     France  said  'Que  chacun  de  nous  appelle  sa 
femme' — to  try  the   echo.      So   they    did.      L.    Nap.    called 
'  Eugenie  ! '      The  echo   answered   '  Genie  ! '      Austria    called 
'  Elisabeth  ! '    The    echo    answered    f  Bete  ! ' "    (Letter    from 
Fortescue  to  Lear,  March  13,  1860.) 

167 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

To  pass  to  a  public  appointment  which  (for  once, 
you'll  say,)  is  really  creditable,  the  new  Consul 
here,  C.  Newton  is  a  good  and  active  man  of 
business — a  fine  scholar, — a  gentleman,  &  of  a  kind 
disposition ;  he  has  already  gone  far  to  put  the 
British  name,  into  a  train  of  respectable  repute.  I 
never  can  believe  that  dirty  knives  can  be  used  to 
cut  clean  good  bread, — &  the  bread  not  be  thereby 
injured.  For  years  the  R.  C.'s  have  said,  the 
English  consular  agent  is  a  fit  &  apt  representation 
of  a  base  &  bad  nation  : — Now  they  are  obliged 
to  alter  their  voice  on  the  subject,  &  acknowledge 
that  the  Q.  is  represented  by  a  worthy  &  clever 
man. 

Mrs.  Ross  is  still  here,  befussing  herself  about 
politics. 

We  are  all  here  in  very  disagreeable  excitement, 
— &  on  Monday  night  that  occurred  which  is  not  yet 
wound  up.  It  was  G[aribaldji's  birthday,  &  a  festa 
besides — so  that  a  considerable  crowd  walked  in  the 
Corso — 4  &  4  smoking, — for  this  kind  of  demonstra- 
tion is  the  thing  now  a  days.  The  police  (armed) 
late  in  the  day  arrested  two  men  who  displayed  nose- 
gays of  3  colours,  but,  (this  was  in  the  Piazza.  Colonna,) 
some  Ffrench]  officers  interfered,  &  the  two  men 
were  let  loose.  On  which  the  Papal  police  retired 
"  green  with  rage."  The  Corso  was  full  of  people, 
just  at  Avemaria,  when  they  sallied  out  furiously,  in  all 
about  60,  &  ran  a  muck  the  whole  length  of  the 
street  to  the  P.del  Popolo,  cutting  down  &  beating 

168 


Rome  and  a  Winter  in  England 

with  buttend  of  pistols  right  &  left.  You  will  hear 
all  this  denied  by  Lords  Derby  &  Normanby,  but  as  I 
know  those  who  know  the  names  of  J5  seriously 
wounded  now  in  Doctors  hands,  &  as  the  poor 
fruiterer  opposite  my  friends  died  of  his  sword  wound 
yesterday,  &  as  it  is  well  known  that  altogether  70 
or  80  were  more  or  less  hurt,  you  will  excuse  my 
believing  the  aristocratic  defenders  of  Italy  as  it  is, 
rather  than  my  own  senses.  Among  the  wounded 
were  also  a  sergeant,  &  2  French  soldiers,  &  one 
officer,  son-in-law  to  one  of  the  Generals.  It  is 
impossible  to  give  you  an  idea  of  the  state  the  people 
are  in.  But  as  many  as  10  patrols  in  a  body  are 
placed  at  every  other  street  end  all  down  the  Corso,  so 
no  movement  is  possible.  Meanwhile  Gen.  Goyon  J 
has  publicly  praised  the  police  "  for  obeying  orders  " 
but  a  great  mass  of  F[rench]  Officers  (it  is  said)  have 
declared  that  they  "gave  no  orders."  What  is  to 
happen  next  chi  sa? 

Embrace  Lord  John.  He  is  a  duck.2  What  I 
wish  now  is  that  Vpctor]  E[mmanuel]  may,  with  all 
Italy,  split  from  the  old  P[ope].  A  few  months  must 
decide  now. 

I  met  Odo  Russell  at  Miss  Cushman's  at  dinner 
lately,  a  very  extremely  nice  fellow.  Browning  was 
there  also,  &  told  me  a  story  of  Carlyle  which  I  shall 
send  you.  C.  on  going  abroad  for  the  first  time  saw  a 

1  The  General  commanding  the  French  troops  in  Rome. 

2  On  the  i2th  of  March  Lord  John  Russell  entered  into  a  full 
explanation  of  the  Savoy  question. 

169 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

crucifix,  &  said  calmly  "  Ah !  poor  fellow  I  thought 
we  had  had  enough  of  him  !  " 

As  for  me  I  am  at  work  on  a  heap  of  pictures  20  in 

100      IOO  2OO  2OO 

all :  2   of  the   Campagna,   a  Beyrout,   Damascus,  & 

IOO 

Interlaken,   will  be   striking  topograffic  scenes,   &  I 

hope  to  sell  them  on  my  return 
to  wise  &  wealthy  wirtuous 
wights — for  700^  if  possible. 
If  things  get  more  ojous  here,  I 
must  leave  earlier.  The  New 
Zealand  sister  has  arrived,  after 
just  7  years  absence.  I  am  very 
glad  for  the  sake  of  poor  dear 
Ann.  Is  H.  Hunt's  picture  yet 
wizzabel  ?  A  jew,  a  jew,  my 
friend.  I  have  become  so  fat 
for  want  of  exercise  that  you 
would  not  know  me,  so  I  attach 
a  portrait. 
Do  you  wear  knickerbockers  ?  Don't  you  like 

Tithonus  ?     Have  you  seen  F.  Lushington  ?     Do  you 

go   to  the   Blue   posts  ?     I    must    leave    off   like  a 

deleterious  donkey  as  I  am. — 

Yours  affly, 

EDWARD  LEAR. 

The  American  Consul  narrowly  escaped  a  sword 
cut,  &  one  Mr.  Arkworth  or  Akworth  also.  Ugh ! 
The  converts  deny  the  whole  thing  with  the  most 
impudent  lying.  Manning  is  preaching  here,  furious 

170 


Rome  and  a  Winter  in  England 

as  a  bear.  He  predicts  the  utter  fall  &  decay  of 
England  &  the  rise  &  triumph  of  Ireland,  which  he 
says  is  the  holiest  country  of  modern  days — a  fact,  you 
though  a  cussed  heretic  will  be  pleased  to  hear. 

Concerning  the  waste  of  money  involved  in  going 
away,  there  were  once  two  people  who  had  each  a  leg 
of  mutton  for  dinner,  but  both  were  invited  out.  One 
gave  away  his  leg  of  mutton,  but  the  other  said  "  that 
is  waste,"  &  ate  it  all  up,  whereby  he  was  sick  for  a 
week.  Now  you  see  I  don't  mean  to  eat  up  my  leg 
of  mutton  upon  this  principle. 

It  has  been  anything  but  an  Abercromby  winter  to 
me  though  : — so  much  time  thrown  away  by  asthma, 
&  lethargy,  for  I  cannot,  HORRIBLE  to  RE  LA  TE, 
rise  before  7^  here.  But  I'll  make  up  for  lost  time, 
as  the  Tadpole  said  when  he  lost  his  tail  &  found 
he  could  jump  about. 

We  know  less  than  nothing  here  :  for  they  sup- 
press the  papers  now.  What  will  happen  it  is  wholly 
impossible  to  guess  :  though  it  is  thought  that  General 
L's  mission  x  is  rather  in  the  interest  of  France  than 
Sardinia,  that  of  the  P[ope]  being  the  ostensible  cause. 

V[ictor]  Emm.  of  Turin  will  have  a  difficult  task  yet 
to  keep  straight :  &  I  can't  but  wonder  at  some  of 
Cavour's  doings.  I  wish  I  had  a  chance  of  seeing 
you  in  Ardee,  but  I  shall  trust  to  doing  so  often 

1  At  the  beginning  of  April  General  Lamoriciere,  who  had 
been  a  celebrated  leader  of  the  Zouaves,  but  who  had  been 
expelled  from  France  after  the  troubles  of  1848,  arrived  in 
Rome  to  take  over  the  command  of  the  Papal  army. 

171 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

in  Town.      I   wish  the  D.  of  N[ewcastle]  had  had 

the   sense   to    put    F.    Lushing- 

ton    into    Merivale's    place.1      I 

am     surprised     at     M's     going 

away. 

I  am  grown  horribly  fat  from 
want  of  exercise — like  this — 

At  the  beginning  of  May  Lear  left  Rome  for 
good,  and  set  out  for  England,  having  been 
disappointed  in  his  original  idea  of  revisiting 
Palestine  and  getting  fresh  subjects  for  his 
pictures.  Want  of  ready  money,  from  which 
he  always  suffered  and  to  which  he  constantly 
alludes  in  his  letters,  was  probably  the  cause 
of  this  alteration  in  his  plans.  In  con- 
nection with  this  I  may  mention,  that  he  was 
for  ever  making  elaborate  plans  for  travel, 
which  were  constantly  doomed  to  failure  for 
the  aforesaid  reason. 

One  of  his  first  visits  was  to  Nuneham,  Mr. 
Harcourt's  place  in  Oxfordshire,  to  execute  a 
commission  for  two  landscapes. 

Lear  to  Lady  Waldegrave. 

Thursday,  July,  1860  ? 

DEAR  LADY  WALDEGRAVE, — I  have  just  sent  off  two 
boxes  and  a  Neasel  which  are  to  go  by  the  next  goods 

1  Merivale,  permanent  Under  Secretary  of  the  Colonies,  had 
just  accepted  the  Under  Secretaryship  of  the  India  Office. 

172 


Rome  and  a  Winter  in  England 

train  and  to  be  left  at  Culham  Station  as  addressed. 
The  foolish  topographer  will  follow  tomorrow  by  the 
4.50  express.  .  .  . 

I  am  going  to  ask  you  if  I  may  divest  myself  of  the 
duty  of  breakfast  in  the  morning  (save  Sunday), 
because,  as  I  begin  early,  and  the  effect  of  light  and 
shade  ceases  at  1 1 J,  the  interruption  of  cleaning  and 
feeding  at  10,  will  just  cut  up  the  best  part  of  my 
morning.  Also,  when  in  a  state  of  application,  or 
incubation  as  it  were,  I  am  more  or  less  necessarily 
disagreeable  and  absent,  and  should  certainly  answer 
"  Elm  trees  and  bridges,"  if  they  asked  me  whether  I 
would  "  take  tea  or  coffee  !  " 

Directly  after  I  finish  my  morning  work,  I  should 
willingly  devour  a  sandwich,  and  go  across  to  the 
Church  view,  which  I  shall  be  able  now  to  see  very 
well,  as  I  can  place  my  canvas  on  a  lofty  easel,  I 
myself  standing  on  the  green  seat,  thus : — 


173 


15.  STRATFORD  PLACE,  W., 

5.  Sept.  1860. 

I  find,  (since  I  saw  the  Fortescue  yesterday,)  that 
my  Sussex  &  Hampshire  visits  will  keep  me  out  of 
London  till  the  2ist — On  the  22nd.  therefore  may  I 
come  down  to  Dudbrooke  &  stay  with  you  over  the 
Sunday  ? — 

As  for  me  I  am  working  at  all  kinds  of  places, 
Damascus  &  Bey  rout,  Masada  &  the  Cedars  of 
Lebanon  principally — besides  Bethlehem,  Interlaken, 
Philae,  &  the  Roman  Campagna. — Identifying  oneself 
with  all  this  various  topography  naturally  makes  one 
less  sane  than  usual,  but  at  present  my  feelings  are 
tried  more  than  commonly  because  I  am  at  work  in  a 
large  room  lent  me  by  my  landlord  who  is  a  portrait 
painter,  &  his  room  is  full  of  faces.  The  Rev.  Jabesh 
Bunting  &  Lady  Mulgrave  sit  upon  the  walls  of 
Masada,  Sir  Fenwick  Williams  &  Mr.  Spurgeon  peer 
among  the  branches  of  my  Cedars — Mr.  &  Mrs.  Cunard 
of  New  York  abound  in  the  ruins  of  Philae,  &  the 
Bishop  of  Gloucester  is  dominant  in  Interlaken.  So 
that  I  have  a  horrid  fear  that  I  shall  hash  all  these 
people  up  together  in  all  my  foregrounds. 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

OATLANDS  PARK  HOTEL. 

WALTON  ON  THAMES. 
SURREY. 

Sept.  30.  1860. 

I  really  hope  you  will  be  able  to  come  for  Sunday 
the  1 4th.,  for  you  would  enjoy  this  place,  if  weather 

174 


Rome  and  a  Winter  in  England 

gets   better,    &   by   that   time  my  Cedars  will  have 
advanced  a  bit,  I  trust. 

Yesterday  only  the  big  case  arrived,  but  thanks  to 
the  assiduous  friendliness  of  one  Mr.  Lyle  who  has 
built  a  huge  house  in  the  centre  of  Cedardom, — I  am 
able  to  get  the  canvas  set  up  allright,  &  actually 
worked  at  it  a  good  bit : — The  next  neighbour  to  Mr. 
Lyle  also,  a  Mr.  Hewitson  who  possesses  the  finest 
collection  of  Butterflies  existing,1  pervades  the  place 
with  assistance  &  brings  water-jugs  &c.  &c.  freely. — 
I  have  hired  a  small  boy,  his  name  is  "  Norval "  (on 
the  Grampian  Hills  his  father  feeds  &c.)  for  sixpence 
a  day,  wages  to  be  raised  to  ninepence  if  good, 
— who  carries  folios,  brushes  &c.,  from  the  Hotel,  for 
this  Hotel  is  only  5  minutes  from  where  I  go  to  paint, 
so  I  hope  all  next  week  to  get  a-head. — 

But  I  will  describe  my  life  generally.  The  Hotel 
then  is  a  large  &  sumptiously  commodious  place,  in 
a  part  of  the  old  Oatlands  Park — with  nice  broad 
terrace  walks,  &  a  wonderfully  lovely  view  over  the 
river  Temms  &  the  surroundiant  landskip. — Them  as 
likes  private  rooms,  can  have  them.  But,  I  &  some 
20  more  live  in  public.  I  have  a  large  light  bedroom, 
delightful  to  behold,  &  wanting  for  nought. — Here  I 
rise,  (to  begin  the  day,)  at  6,  &  by  6.30  or  6.45  am 
at  work  on  one  of  the  seven  drawings.  At  8  I  go 
down-stairs,  &  from  that  to  9.  breakfast  audibly 
in  the  public  coughy-room,  which  is  first-rate  in 
every  particular.  The  Times,  (oh  how  my  stomach 

1  This  collection  is  now  in  the  Natural  History  Museum. 

175 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

aches  for  Garibaldi ! — )  &  letters  arrive  also  at  that 
hour. 

Immejately  after  these  facts,  I  go  out  to  work, — 
(Friday  it  poured  with  rain,  so  I  worked  indoors,)  & 
by  6.  I  am  back  again.  Dinner  happens  at  6.45.  &  is 
well  arranged  &  good :  &  what  pleases  me  I  can  get 
plain  food.  One  pint  of  sherry,  &  one  ditto  of  beer  is 
my  liquor, — &  these  are  extras, — all  other  board, 
lodging,  &  service  costing  4.4  a  week.  The  company 
is  not  bad,  &  rather  amusing :— some  is  permanent, 
some  changeful. — Among  the  latter  I  trust  are  the 
parents  of  a  beastly  little  child,  whom  seeing  playing 
about,  I  spoke  to  simply  as  being  attracted  to  all  nice- 
looking  little  children.  Whereon  the  imp  thus 
accosted  me : — 

"  O  my  !  what  an  ugly  chap  you  are !  "  And  what 
ugly  shoes  you  wear!  "You  must  be  a  nasty  ugly 
old  Scotchman ! " — It  is  unnecessary  to  relate  that  I 
turned  away  with  ill  disguised  disgust  from  this  offen- 
sive infant,  who  cannot  fail  to  bring  his  father's  gray 
airs  to  an  untimely  hend. 

The  only  other  person  who  has  gone  is  a  large  old 
lady,  who  the  first  night  (Thursday,)  I  was  here,  came 
slowly  across  the  large  reading-room,  steadily  looking 
at  me.  When  she  had  advanced  within  3  feet  of  my 
chair,  I  could  bear  it  no  longer,  for  I  knew  she  would 
do  one  of  two  things,  either  embrace  me,  or  charge  me 
with  a  religious  tract, — so  I  rose  up  in  terror.  On 
which  she  said  in  a  loud  voice,  "  Sit  down  Sir  !  I  only 
came  across  the  room  to  see  if  you  was  anyone  I 

176 


Rome  and  a  Winter  in  England 

knew." — To  return  to  the  Dining  table,  there  is  a 
young  Hussar  who  has  been  in  French  service,- — & 
later  all  through  the  Indian  Mutiny  :  rather  a  nice 
fellow,  Irish,  &  knows  the  "  Bellews  "  :  A  very  well 
informed  &  clever  man,  I  conclude  a  physician :  his 
wife  wears  spectacles  &  seems  literary.— A  grand  dark 
man,  who  says  Hay? — if  ever  I  speak  to  him,  (so  I 
have  left  off  doing  so) : — &  various  other  characters. 
The  head  waiter  is  a  praiseworthy  individual,  &  his 
efforts  to  make  a  goose  go  round  18  diners  were 
remarkable  yesterday,  as  well  as  his  placid  firmness 
when  there  was  only  one  bit  left, — &  4  persons  yet 
unserved.  "  Who's  this  for  ? "  said  an  agitated 
buttony  boy, — foreseeing  the  invidiousness  of  the  task 
set  him.  "  HENNYBODDY !  "  said  the  waiter  in  a 
decided  tone, — &  then  coming  to  the  three  gooseless 
persons,  of  whom  I  was  one, 

(Three  were  in  such  fortune  cast — 
Of  whom  myself  was  left  the  last,) 
he  said  in  a   conscientious   &   pained   under-voice — 
"  Gentlemen — I  am  really  sorry  this  has  happened ! — 
but  I  declare  to  you  that  there  shall  be  another  goose 
to-morrow ! " 

At  9.  I  go  to  my  room,  much  to  the  disgust  of  the 
community  who  having  found  out  that  I  am  musical, 
consider  my  "seclusion"  unpleasant.  And  so  they 
sent  up  a  deputation  2  nights  ago  to  ask  me  to  come 
down  to  them — but  I  remained  where  I  was.  For  one 
hour,  I  translate  'H  lloXtrcla,  of  my  daily  old  Plato :  & 
for  one  more  hour  I  pen  out  some  remaining  Athos 

177  N 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

drawings.     And  at  n.  I  go  to  bed.     There's  a  pretty 
good  history  of  life  at  the  Oatlands  Park  Hotel. 

STORY. 

Scene,  Railway  Station,  North  of  Scotland. 
Persons  :  Old  Scotchwoman  and  Railway  Clerk. 
Old  Woman.     "  A  Tucket." 
Railway  Clerk.     "  Whar  till  ?  " 
O.  W.  (with  more  emphasis).     "  A  Tucket  /  " 
R.C.  (louder).     "Whar  till?" 
O.W.  (fiercely).     "  A  Tucket,  I  say  !" 
R.C.  (angrily).     "  Whar  till  then  ?  " 
O.W.     "  You  are  a  nasty  speering  body !     What 
is't  to  you  whar  I  am  ganging  to  ?  " 

(Train  draws  up — party  of  Old  Woman's  friends 
call  out  "  Jeanie !     Jeanie !     You'll  be  too  late  : 
have  you  na  got  your  tucket  ?  ") 
O.W.     "  Na !  and  I  winna  tell  the  old  fellow  whar  I 
am  going !     What  is  it  to  him ! "     (Train  goes  on.) 

Lear  to  Lady  Waldegrave. 
STRATTON, 

MlCHELDEVER. 

October  23/60. 

Since  I  was  at  Dudbrooke  that  exceedingly  nice 
youth  the  Count  de  Paris  with  his  brother  &  the 
Prince  de  Joinville  r  came  to  my  studio  &  looked  over 

1  The  Comte  de  Paris  was  the  eldest  grandson  of  Louis 
Philippe.  At  the  Revolution  of  1848  his  mother  brought  him  to 
England,  and  he  grew  up  at  York  House,  Twickenham,  with  his 
brother,  the  Due  de  Chartres.  The  following  year  he  went  to 

178 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

lots  of  Nilatic  drawings.  They  were  pleased  with  the 
drawings,  &  I  with  them  —  for  the  two  young  men 
particularly  are  really  intelligent  &  unaffected. 

I  hope  to  send  your  two  Nunehams  l  to  Strawberry 
very  early  next  week  —  I  hope  extremely  that  you  will 
like  them. 

I  have  been  &  am  still  painting  Cedars  at  Oatlands 
Hotel  —  &  I  return  there  on  November  ist,  for  the  soil 
is  so  dry  that  at  present  I  have  neither  Asthma  nor 
roomatizsim  when  I  am  there  —  On  the  contrary  I 
have  been  making  some  new  nonsenses  in  my  old  age 
—  "still  in  our  ashes  "  &c.,  (see  overleaf). 

Please  remember  me  to  Mr.  Harcourt. 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

THE  OATLANDS  PARK  HOTEL. 

NEAR  WALTON-ON-THAMES. 
SURREY. 

7  day  of  Dec.  1860. 

MY  DEAR  4°SCUE,  —  Aa€ovroc  TY]V  Trig  avyijc  TT\V  tTTtaroXTjv 
<rou,  (ovaag  rt  r»je  avyijc  TOV  TT/owrou  pipovg  Trig  ri/j.ipag,)  KOI 
rrjc  S/JKIJC  <rov  KaXwg  tvpiGKOfjilvri,  iyaiptaa  TroXu.  'AXXa  ot 
fj.a\\ov  %av/j,a<TOitv  nva  JUT)  ttf  oiKiav  ivploKOvroq  TOV 
Trig  TlapHTaiag,  KaKitrrog  6  icatpog,  KOI,  (ovTwg  cTrttv,) 
avTov  ore  yvwpi%eiv  waXa  TOV  Naw^rjyov  ^SiiifJLwp,  irt£rj  irpoTSpov 
HaKpwg  avfjnrepnraTovvTtov  ETTI  TT)V  Trjg  Pw/ULrig  i^o\rfv,  itttivov 

TOTt      (ffTOV     TToXXtt     IVfj)      ^Wy/OO^EtWV     floVV(i)V     KO.I     KaTaK\0)fJ,(jjV 


America  to  serve  in  the  Civil  War,  with  his  brother  and  the 
Prince  de  Joinville,  his  uncle. 

1  Two  pictures  painted  in  the  grounds  of  Nuneham,  Mr. 
Harcourt's  house  in  Oxfordshire.  The  pictures  are  now  in  the 
possession  of  Lord  Waldegrave. 

1  80 


Rome  and  a  Winter  in  England 


7roX<e  OU<T>JC  1?  Pt^ua  roiavra  /ne  Karaorao-ete  Ivroc 
TTCjOtKoicXou,  aXXa  Se  row  Mt^eXou  S?jjua)/3  ovroc  tic  rov 
"AyyeXov  17  'A/o^ayyeXov  TTOTTOTE  avyyevtojg  owre  EtSataii',  OVTE 
a>£  i//euSae  Xtytuv  Suva/ieu  :  rfjf  <rv£oyou  row,  aXXa  Et'Stjo-fe  etvat 
tm  row  'IctTjOOu  St'/o.  rQ.  Natrovou,  (ocme  6  jSao-tXtvc  «  rtajptoc 
6  Tfocrajoroe  TTJC  'AyyXta^  ES'E/oaTTtwS'r)  juspticwv  votrwv  Xeyet  i? 


I  had  your  letter  this  morning,  (now  the  morning  is 
the  first  or  earliest  part  of  the  day.)  That  you  did  not 
find  the  Count  de  Paris  at  home  was  more  surprising 
that  the  weather  was  so  wet,  &,  so  to  speak,  I  may  add 
that  I  myself  also  once  knew  Admiral  Seymour  2  very 
well,  having  made  at  one  time  long  excursions  on  the 
Campagna  of  Rome  with  him,  —  he  there  occupying 
himself  with  drawing  views  of  mountains  &  vallies  :  — 
for  Rome  is  a  city  abounding  with  objects  of  that  sort 
within  a  small  circle,  but  that  this  Michael  Seymour 
was  anyway  related  to  the  angel  or  Archangel  I  can 
neither  certainly  state  nor  yet  positively  deny  :  although 
it  is  well  known  that  his  wife  was  a  daughter  of  the 
Physician  Sir  W.  Knighton  by  whom  report  says 
George  the  4th,  King  of  England,  was  successfully 
treated. 

1  "  When  I  received  your  sunrise  letter  (sunrise  is  what  the 
Greeks  call  the  morning)  and  found  your  enclosure  all  right,  I 
was  very  glad."  Lear  has  translated  the  whole  letter  in  the 
paragraph  following,  so  with  the  exception  of  the  first  sentence 
no  further  translation  is  required. 

a  Sir  Michael  Seymour  won  special  distinction  in  the  troubles 
with  China  in  1857,  when  he  destroyed  the  Chinese  junk  fleet 
and  captured  Canton.  In  1858  he  forced  his  way  up  to  Tient- 
sing,  and  a  treaty  was  signed. 

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Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Bother  Thucydides. 

A  letter  from  Rome  this  morning  brings  me  a 
"quittance"  from  the  "  Fratelli  Spillman"  my  late 
landlord,  putting  an  end  to  my  lodging  treaty, — The 
compliments  they  pay  to  my  "high  &  renowned 
qualities  "  &  to  my  "  superior  nature  "  have  made  my 
stomach  ache  : — tho'  I  am  very  glad  the  Roman  affair 
is  done  with. 

I  wish  I  could  hear  from  poor  Giorgio. 

Write  soon.  And  don't  get  in  the  way  of  those 
odious  Donaghue  maniacs I : — I  said  little  about  them, 
for  I  hate  the  whole  lot  so  much  I  can't  keep  my 
temper  on  the  subject. 

Don't  forget  my  messages  to  Mrs.  Ruxton,  &  Chi,  & 
all  who  know  me — "a  blessed  privilege"  as  Mrs.  H. 
says. 

I  do  not  think  the  picture  (Bassse)  is  to  be  pre- 
sented by  the  subscribers,  as  they  say  that  won't  do 
for  a  precedent,  but  by  a  certain  lot  of  Trinity  Coll. 
fellows. 

15.  STRATFORD  PLACE. 
OXFORD  STREET. 

Thursday  7.  March.  1861. 

You  will  be  sorry  to  hear  that  my  dear  sister  Ann  is 
extremely  ill. — Although  she  was  here  last  week, — as 
I  told  you  on  Sunday, — she  has  had  a  relapse  of  her 
internal  complaint  &  some  alarming  symptoms  are 
showing  themselves.  Besides  this  the  poor  dear  has  a 

1  The  O' Donaghue,  the  member  for  Tipperary,  was  one  of  the 
leaders  of  the  extreme  section  of  the  Roman  Catholic  party  in 
Ireland,  and  an  ardent  supporter  of  the  Papal  claims. 

182 


"Once  upon  a  time  a  bird  was  ill,  and  a  cat,  bending  down  to  it,  said,  'How  are  you,  and  what  do  you 
want?    I  will  give  you  everything,  only  get  well.'    And  the  bird  replied,  'If  you  go  away  I  shan't  die.'  " 


To  face  page  182. 


Rome  and  a  Winter  in  England 

dreadful  swelling  in  the  back  of  the  neck,  which  con- 
tinually increases,  &  which  the  Doctor  fears  may  turn 
to  Carbuncle.  The  two  illnesses  together  will  I  dread, 
be  more  than  at  her  age  she  can  rally  from,  nor  do  J 
quite  think  she  would  undergo  any  operation,  which 
the  Doctors  hint  may  be  expedient.  Her  medical  man 
sent  for  me  last  night,  &  I  have  seen  her.  Poor  dear 
creature,  her  sufferings  are  very  sad,  yet  she  is  absolutely 
cheerful  &  tranquil,  &  speaks  of  dying  as  a  change 
about  to  bring  such  great  delight  that  she  only  checks 
herself  for  thinking  of  it  too  much.  She  has  always 
been  indeed  as  near  Heaven  as  it  was  possible  to  be. 

I  have  written  for  both  my  sisters : — the  widow 
comes  to-day. 

You  may  suppose  I  am  greatly  distressed  at  this, 
tho'  at  present  I  do  not  fully  realize  the  whole. 

I  heard  from  Lord  Clermont  to-day.  I  had  thought 
it  right  as  I  had  before  written  about  the  Civitella, — 
to  tell  him  it  was  sold, — Sir  Francis  Goldsmid '  pur- 
chased it  on  Monday  : — for  1 50  guineas,  which  you 
also  will  be  glad  to  hear. 

Penrhyn2  died  yesterday  morning.  Leycester  P. 
wrote  to  me  yesterday — but,  altho'  I  wish  to  go  to  the 
funeral,  my  sister's  state  of  health  may  prevent  me. 

1  The  first  Jew  called  to  the  English  Bar,  and  the  first  Jewish 
Q.C.  and  Bencher.  President  of  the  Senate  of  University 
College,  London. 

8  Edward  Leycester  took  the  name  of  Penrhyn  in  accordance 
with  the  will  of  his  cousin,  Lady  Penrhyn,  whose  property  he 
inherited.  He  married  in  1823  Lady  Charlotte  Stanley,  eldest 
daughter  of  the  thirteenth  Earl  of  Derby. 

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Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

The  death  of  his  sister  on  nth  March,  1861, 
was  a  great  blow  to  him. 

ANGEL  HOTEL,  LYMINGTON. 

1 8.  March.  1861. 

MY  DEAR  CHICHESTER, — I  write  this,  more  to  thank 
you  for  your's  than  for  ought  else. 

I  went  to  Oatlands  after  the  funeral ; — but  have 
come  to-day  to  this  place,  hoping  to  get  to  A.  Tenny- 
son, but  there  was  no  steamer. 

I  am  all  at  sea  &  do  not  know  my  way  an  hour  ahead. 

I  shall  be  so  terribly  alone. 

Wandering  about  a  little  may  do  some  good  perhaps. 

Yours  affectionately, 

EDWARD  LEAR 


CHAPTER  VII:.;,! 
1861 

ITALY   AND    SWITZERLAND 

"  I  "HE  death  of  his  eldest  sister,  who  had 
•A-  been  like  a  mother  to  him  for  so  many 
years,  and  to  whom  he  had  always  been  deeply 
devoted,  affected  Lear's  health  and  spirits  to  so 
great  an  extent,  that  he  welcomed  the  oppor- 
tunity given  him  by  Lady  Waldegrave  of 
going  to  Italy,  in  order  to  execute  her  com- 
mission to  paint  a  picture  of  the  view  from  the 
celebrated  Villa  Petraja  of  Florence.  Stopping 
at  Turin  on  his  way  there,  he  mentions  that  he 

waited  thro'  Sunday  for  the  fete, — well  worth 
the  delay — and  I  saw  Vpctor]  E[mmanuel]  quite 
closely,  as  well  as  all  the  milingtary  specktickle. 
We  all  of  us,  however,  little  thought  then  that  the 
merry  days  would  be  so  soon  clouded  by  Cavour's 
death.1 

1  The  news  of  Cavour's  death  on  the  6th  of  June  plunged 
all  Italy  into  mourning. 

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Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

On  June  8,  1861,  he  reached  Florence, 
whence  he  writes : — 

There  has  been  a  row  of  a  small  kind  here, — the 
people  being  angry  that  some  reactionists  appeared  on 
C[avour]'s  death  being  known — with  Austrian  orders, 
etc.  The  mob  tore  the  orders  off,  and  Corsini  had 
to  run  for  it  into  the  Duomo  till  the  N.  Guard  came. 
Moreover,  in  the  Corpus  Domini,  the  Priests  turn 
away  the  Host  from  the  soldiers,  who  kneel.  The 
priest  party  seem  as  blind  as  such  fools  usually  are  ! 

And  on  the  24th — 

Things  are  very  unsatisfactory  in  many  ways. 
Certain  people  are  positive  that  the  I[sland]  of 
S[ardinia]  will  be  given  up  shortly — to  follow  N[ice] 
and  S[avoy].r 

It  does  not  seem  clear  to  me  that  there  may  be 
a  reaction  strong  enough  to  bring  back  the  K[ing] 
of  N[aples]2 — and  perhaps  the  G[rand]  D[uke],  but 
if  anything  is  clearer  it  is  this, — that  their  return 
would  end,  as  in  the  case  of  the  Stuart  restoration, 
in  more  distinct  revolution,  and  more  absolute  exile. 

Meanwhile  he  set  to  work  in  earnest  on  the 
Petraja  picture,  though  still  far  from  well  either 

1  In  March,  1860,  Savoy  and  Nice  were  ceded  to  France  in 
return  for  her  services  in  helping  to  free  Italy. 

2  In  September  of  the  previous  year  Francis  II.  of  Naples,  a 
ruler  as  bad  as  his  father,  had  been  driven  out  of  his  kingdom 
by  Garibaldi. 

1 86 


Italy  and  Switzerland 

bodily  or  mentally,  for  he  was  suffering  from  a 
severe  internal  sprain,  and  had  just  received 
the  news  of  his  sister  Mary's  death  at  sea,  on 
the  voyage  back  from  New  Zealand 

Early  in  July  he  started  on  a  tour  northward 
through  Italy  to  Switzerland,  visiting  Lucca, 
Pisa,  Via  Reggio  (where  he  made  a  drawing 
of  Shelley's  burial-place),  Pietrasanta,  Massa, 
Carrara,  and  Sargano,  reaching  Spezzia  on  the 
1 4th.  Thence  he  went  to  Genoa  on  his  way 
back  to  Turin,  where  he  says: — 

I  have  been  trying  to  draw  the  Alps,  but  they, 
like  Sarah  in  Abraham's  tent,  have  hidden  themselves. 
So  I  took  a  fit  of  Protestant  enthusiasm  and  rushed 
off  to  the  Vaudois  vallies,  which  are  very  interesting. 

And  with  regard  to  the  political  situation — 

The  Turinese  have  been  a-saluting  the  Swedish 
Ambassador  with  a  serenade,  and  cheering  him 
immensely.  I  fancy  the  other  side  are  by  no  means 
giving  up  hopes  of  upsetting  matters  yet — but  with 
Cialdini  at  Naples  l  they  will  find  themselves  sold. 
"  One  struggle  more  and  we  are  free,"  as  the  song 
says.  But  that  the  Priesthood  can  ever  be  where 

*  On  the  I3th  of  February  General  Cialdini,  head  of  the 
Piedmontese  army,  took  the  fortress  of  Gaeta,  the  last  strong 
hold  of  King  Francis  II.,  and  then  went  to  Naples  as  Lieut.- 
Governor  for  the  civil  administration  of  the  country. 

187 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

and  what  it  was  only  very  shortsighted  folk  can 
suppose.  I  wish  I  had  heard  Ricasoli's  I  speech  on 
Sunday,  at  the  Inauguration  of  C.  Alberti's  statue. 

From  Turin  he  went  to  Courmayeur  and 
then  to  Aosta.  Crossing  the  St.  Bernard  to 
Martiny,  he  proceeded  to  Vevey 

which  is  Paradise,  and  I  don't  see  how  the  people 
there  and  at  Lausanne  can  have  the  impudence  to 
suppose  that  they  can  go  to  Heaven  after  death. 

After  visiting  Ferney,  Geneva,  Chamounix, 
and  many  other  places,  and  filling  his  portfolio 
with  drawings,  he  returned  to  England  at  the 
end  of  August. 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

AOSTA.    28.  July.  1861. 

DEAR  4OSCUE, — Je  vois,  (dans  le  Temps)  que  vous 
vous  portez  en  Irelande,  e  cessez  d'etre  Sectre.  pour  les 
Colonies.2  Faites  moi  savoir  de  vos  nouvelles — a 

1  Prime   Minister   of   the   Government   of  the  new   Italian 
kingdom. 

2  A  leader  in  the  Times  of  July  22nd  stated  that  Mr.  Chichester 
Fortescue  was  to  succeed  to  the  office  of  Chief  Secretary  for 
Ireland,  vacated  by  Mr.  Cardwell,  who  was  to  be  promoted  to 
the    Chancellorship    of    the    Duchy    of    Lancaster ;   but    this 
information  was  incorrect,  as  Sir  Robert  Peel  was  appointed 
Chief  Secretary  on  the  25th,  and  Mr.  Fortescue  continued  at 
the  Colonial  Office. 

188 


Italy  and  Switzerland 

Geneve — Je  vous  prie — ou  je  dois  me  trouver  le 
Sieme.  Aout  au  plus  tard.  Est  ce  que  vous  serez 
deja  parti  avant  que  je  suis  de  retour,  c'est  a  dire  le 

25,  de  ce  mois  ci? 

Votre  affly, 

EDWARD  LEAR. 

119  MARINA,  ST.  LEONARD'S-ON-SEA. 
SUSSEX. 

igth.  August  1861. 

At  present  I  am  at  work  ferociously  on  the  Petraja, 
&  I  must  say  it  promises  well.  I  worked  on  the  large 
lemon  trees  in  pots  all  yesterday,  &  to-day  must  fidget 
over  the  houses  all  the  long  hours.  No  life  is  more 
shocking  to  me  than  the  sitting  motionless  like  a 
petrified  gorilla  as  to  my  body  &  limbs  hour  after 
hour — my  hand  meanwhile,  reck  peck  pecking  at 
billions  of  little  dots  &  lines,  while  my  mind  is  fretting 
&  fuming  through  every  moment  of  the  weary  days 
work. 

Do  you  see  the  charge  against  Thirlwall  l  in  the 
Westminster  ?  T.  having  been  attacked  about  his  part 
of  persecution  in  the  Essays  &  Reviews,2  &  being 
asked  how  he  could  be  so  bitter  when  he  himself 
had  written  Schleirmachers  Luke — says  in  reply 
"  No !  not  I,  but  a  lawyer  Thirwall  wrote  that — 
not  the  priest."  (This  it  seems  is  true  but  it  was  not 

'  Bishop  of  St.  David's. 

2  A  Liberal  work  published  in  1860,  by  various  authors.  It 
caused  some  commotion  in  the  English  Church  because  of  the 
alleged  heresy  of  the  views  expressed.  Professor  Jowett  was 
one  of  the  contributors. 

189 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

published  till  4  years  after  T.  was  ordained  : — which 
little  bit  of  Jesuitry  they  now  display  to  the  orthodox 
Bishop.) 

Your  remarx  on  Ardee  interested  me  much  : — It  is 
indeed  a  different  life  for  you.  The  prayers — just 
as  they  are — you  are  quite  right  to  read  daily :  dear 
old  Mrs.  Ruxton  means  nothing  but  good, — even 
when  she  says  the  Athanasian  Creed  :  It  is  not  the 
individual  peculiarity  of  worship  that  grates  on  us, 
so  much  as  the  public  recognition  of  a  hateful  exclusion 
principle. 

Bye  the  bye  this  reminds  me  of  Emily  Miss 
Beaufort's  2  volumes l — which  I  think  your  Aunt 
would  like :  the  Miss  Bs  must  be  plucky  singular 
women, — but  there  is  too  much  enthusiasm  &  religious 
zeal  in  Miss  Emily  for  my  taste,  so  far  as  I  have  got 
in  her  book.  Yet  if  she  could  help  me  at  the  Mount 
of  Olives  in  my  large  view  of  Jerusalem !  Think  of 
laying  your  head,  my  head  I  mean,  after  long  long 
hours  of  weary  outline  drawing — not  on  the  hard 
bolster  of  the  tent  bed,  but  on  an  intelligent  female's 
buzzim  !  I  declare  to  you  that  the  invitation  to  meet 
them  so  near  here  at  the  Goldsmid's  for  2  days  sorely 
puzzles  me,  tho'  I  believe  I  shall  stick  to  my  work 
here  &  go  nowhere  even  for  the  small  chance  of 
future  female  buzzims  &  intelligent  aid  in  outline. 

1  "  Egyptian  Sepulchres  and  Syrian  Shrines,  including  some 
stay  in  the  Lebanon,  at  Palmyra,  and  in  Western  Turkey,"  1861, 
by  Emily  Beaufort,  the  daughter  of  the  distinguished  geo- 
grapher. 

190 


Italy  and  Switzerland 

Let  me  hear  what  news  you  have  of  Lady  W.  I 
believe  she  &  Mr.  H.  have  gone  on  a  political 
errand  to  Vienna,  as  his  cousin  to  Perth.  Ought 
not  Roebuck  to  be  hooted,  intanto,  anent  his  Sar- 
dinian Declaration  ? : 

Meanwhile,  I  have  very  few  letters  here  as  yet 
&  mainly  from  my  sister  Ellinor,  who  has  other 
letters  from  America,  all  wretched  enough.  I  am 
trying  to  send  money  to  Frederick's  family,  but 
Drummond  says  it  is  not  to  be  done,  all  the  more 
that  President]  Lincoln  has  naw  prohibited  all  inter- 
course between  the  two  sides.  Fredk's  only  son  has 
joined  the  Southern  army :  Henry's  4  sons  have 
joined  the  North  side,  but  it  seems  to  me  that  Henry 
from  New  York,  looks  as  gloomily  on  the  Northern 
prospects  as  F.  does  from  Springfield.  I  suppose 
all  my  5  nephews  were  in  the  last  battle,  a  curious 
state  of  unpleasant  domestic  romance.2 

From  the  Hornby's  &  Cross  I  have  not  heard, 
&  imagine  they  are  at  Dover,  where  not  improbably 
Lady  Denison  would  go,  as  her  sister-in-law  Mrs. 
Phillimore  3  would  be  there,  &  the  whole  Palmerstonian 

1  At  a  banquet  at  Sheffield  on  August  2ist  Mr.  Roebuck 
announced  that  he  knew  for  a  fact  that  a  compact  had  been 
entered  into  between  the  King  of  Italy  and  the  Emperor  of  the 
French,  that  the  latter  should  have  the  Island  of  Sardinia  so 
soon  as  he  withdrew  his  troops  from  Rome.  This  was  after- 
wards contradicted  most  emphatically  by  the  French  Press,  as 
well  as  by  Baron  Ricasoli. 

3  The  American  Civil  War  broke  out  early  in  the  year. 

3  Sister  of  Sir  William  Denison  and  Evelyn  Denison,  Speaker 
of  the  House  of  Commons.  She  married  Mr.  R.  J.  Phillimore 

191 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

spectacle  x  worth  seeing  &  being  part  of.  Nor  does 
Clowes  write, — perhaps  in  Norway :  nor  James 
Edwards — perhaps  in  the  sulx. 

My  own  life  is — I  rise  at  six  or  6.30. — &  work  a 
short  hour  before  breakfast  at  8.  Bkft  as  slight  as 
possible — 2  cups  of  tea,  2  bits  of  dry  toast,  2  ditto 
bacon,  work  till  n — :  newspaper.  Work  again  till 
2.  small  bit  of  cake. — work  till  4.  Dine,  simple  sole  & 
beneficial  beer :  work  again  till  7.  wash  brushes  & 
swear  till  7.30.  Prowl  in  the  dark  along  the  melan- 
choly sea  till  8.45.  Bed  at  9.30.  For  I  am  too 
sad  &  tired  by  that  time  to  work  again.  Bed 
extremely  uncomfortable — like  a  plum  pie  turned  into 
stone.  Lie  awake  &  have  the  cramp  &  the  side-ache 
till  morning.  Then  the  "break,  break,  break,"  of  the 
sea  gets  me  to  sleep.  I  have  a  piano,  but  seldom 
play.  Housemaid  vexatious  &,  a  goose, — wears 
crinolines.  Your  Palgrave  book  2  is  very  delightful : 
every  piece  seems  well  chosen. 

I  must  stop  now.  I  am  grieved  at  not  coming 
myself,  but  besides  all  the  fuss  aforesaid,  I  am  not 
well  enough  for  a  stay  anywhere  : — the  other  day 
you  saw  me  in  a  lively  fit  from  meeting  you  so 
apropos — but  generally  I  am  restless  &  glumy.  I 
think  I  shall  take  to  drinking  as  a  change. 

(created  a  baronet  in  1881),  at  this  time  Judge  of  the  Cinque 
Ports. 

1  Lord  Palmerston  was  instituted  Lord  Warden  of  the  Cinque 
Ports  at  Dover  on  the  28th  of  August. 

2  F.  T.  Palgrave  had  just  published  his  "  Golden  Treasury  of 
Songs  and  Lyrics." 

192 


Italy  and  Switzerland 

Little  Browning — (7  or  8  years  old)  said  to  Lady 
Normanby  one  day  "  I  write  poetry  as  Papa  & 
Mama  do"— "Oh!"  said  Lady  N.  "I  thought  you 
seemed  a  very  odd  little  boy — but  now  I  see — there 
are  3  incomprehensibles,  not  one  incomprehensible." 

5.  Sept.  1 86 1. 

I  fully  intended  to  have  written  to  you  on  Sunday — 
being  in  a  fretful  state  of  mind  at  having  disappointed 
you  by  not  coming,  &  myself  by  not  going  to  Ire- 
land : — but  when  I  had  written  24  letters,  I  became 
like  unto  a  spawned  salmon,  &  was  exhausted,  & 
could  work  no  more. 

Concerning  the  buzzim  of  intelligence,  I  am  dis- 
pleased, (since  I  wrote,)  with  some  of  Miss  Emily 
Beaufort's  J  writing.  She  wonders  forsooth,  that  there 
is  a  traditional  terror  of  the  Cross  or  "  anything 
shaped  like  a  cross "  among  the  poor  "  ignorant 
Jews  "  at  Jerusalem  ! — Has  Emily  then  never  heard 
of  the  Crusades,  of  the  Spanish  persecutions  & 
Inquisition,  of  St.  Bartholomew,  of  all  the  Popes, 
not  to  speak  of  Lord  Chelmsford  2  &  Mr.  Spooner  ?  3 
If  she  has  not,  the  Jews  have,  she  may  take  her 
davy. 

1  Regarding  this  lady,  Fortescue  writes  on  the  3rd  September : 
"  I  wonder  whether  you  want  after  all  to  meet  the  Beauforts. 
My  impression  is  that  intelligent  females  who  write  books 
are  often  disappointing.  You  can  tell  me  whether  my  con- 
clusion is  correct." 

3  Lord  Chancellor  in  Lord  Derby's  Ministry. 

3  Leader  of  the  Anti-Maynooth  party  in  the  House  of 
Commons. 

193  O 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Yes —  :  I  certainly  do  hate  the  act  of  painting : 
&  although  day  after  day  I  go  steadily  on,  it  is  like 
grinding  my  nose  off.  The  elder  Morier  has  written 
me  a  beautiful  letter  :  he  is  so  pleased  with  R.'s l 
engagement: — "  der  dikke"2 — albeit,  is  laid  up  with 
gout :  the  26th.  is,  it  seems,  the  wedding  day.  The 
elder  Edwards  wrote,  asking  for  a  succinct  as  to  size, 
age,  place  &c.,  account  of  the  Cedars,  which  I  sent : 
some  days  later  comes  a  Liverpool  paper,  giving  a 
notice  of  the  private  view  of  the  Exhibition,  "The 
Cedars,"  being  the  great  Lion  &  praised  to  the 
skies — the  concluding  paragraph  being — "  Mr.  Lear 
has  in  this  great  picture  not  only  achieved  a  pro- 
fessional success,  but  he  has  also  conferred  an  obliga- 
tion of  the  highest  order  on  the  whole  Christian 
world  "(MM! ! — After  that  take  care  how  you  speak 
or  write  to  me.) 

I  have  letters  also  from  America : — terrible  alto- 
gether. All  chances  are  now  shut  up  of  farther 
communication  from  Missouri,  &  even  the  5^  I 
have  sent  in  a  letter  will  probably  never  reach  its 
destination. 

Bye  the  bye,  some  who  know,  or  profess  to  know 
Italy,  declare  that  representative  Govt.  never  will 
succeed  there,  because  they  say  it  will  become  a 
representation  of  advocates,  &  military  only — the 
ingredient  of  Landed  interest  not  being  encouraged 

1  Robert  Morier,  at  this  time  attache  at  Berlin,  married  Alice, 
the  daughter  of  Lieut.-Gen.  the  Rt.  Hon.  J.  and  Lady  Alice 
Peel.  Fortescue  was  his  best  man.  a  "  The  Stout." 

194 


Italy  and  Switzerland 

or  possible.  Lever  told  me  this,  &  said  it  was 
Bulwer  Lytton's  opinion  :  (which  perhaps  made  it 
his,  for  Mrs.  Lever  is  a  relative.) 
;  I  wish  I  could  see  you  all  at  Rostrevor.  You 
are  right  to  go  &  see  the  Flower-show,  delilahs 
high-derangers  &  what  not.  Do  not  be  relaxed  by 
the  climate  if  possible,  leastways  take  some  tonic : 
dear  me  !  what  good  beef  &  beer  there  used  to  be 
at  Red  House — (not  to  speak  of  sherry). 

21.  Sept.  1861. 

You  are  a  kind  good  fellow  to  think  of  coming 
down  here  on  Thursday  after  Morier's  wedding, 
&  I  should  be  an  "oomboog"  if  I  said  it  wouldn't 
please  me.  Only  I  wish  you  could  have  made  the 
journey  on  your  way  out  of  England,  so  as  not  to 
have  so  long  a  giro  to  make  on  purpose  to  see  the 
dirty  Landscape-painter. 

;  The  New  Zealand  news  is  interesting :  (I  can't 
make  out  if  Sir  J.  Grey  is  arrived  there  yet.) 
Christianity  will  extirpate  the  other  race  eventually, 
(but  then  their  souls  may  have  been  saved  you  know,) 
as  in  the  battle  of  races  has  ever  occurred,  when  there 
is  greater  power  on  one  side  than  on  the  other ;  and 
I  don't  see  much  use  in  blinking  the  fact.  I  had  a 
long  letter  from  Rome  yesterday :  among  other 
matters  it  appears  curious  to  me  that  Pentini  is 
about  to  be  made  a  Cardinal, — (he  is  an  upright  & 
liberal  Catholic,)  &  it  seems  to  me  an  indication 
that  the  Holy  See,  perceiving  that  they  must  go 

195 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

with  the  stream,  are  about  to  make  it  easy  (very 
gradually)  by  allowing  more  of  the  liberal  ingredient 
to  enter  into  the  Conclave. — But  I  do  not  think 
anything  very  sudden  will  occur,  as  L[ouis]  N[apoleon] 
would  abhor  any  general  shudder  in  his  own  empire. 
Grammont's  recall  is  however  considered  as  pointing 
to  a  change.  My  informant,  a  very  reserved  person, 
yet  one  who  knows  intimately  all  that  goes  on, — 
says  "  Of  all  the  brigandage  and  reaction  you  hear 
of,  nothing  occurs  that  does  not  directly  emanate 
from  here." — She  speaks  also  of  the  Ex  Q.  of  N. 
as  "the  fastest  of  all  young  women,  not  to  say 
Queens." 

V.  Emmanuel  at  Florence  is  very  interesting  to  me, 
as  I  have  now  made  the  view  from  Villa  Petraja  all 
but  a  reality,  it  seems  as  I  sit  hour  after  hour  at  work, 
as  if  I  could  hear  the  vivas  from  the  distance. 

Holman  Hunt  writes  very  amusingly  from  Oxford, 
near  which  he  is  painting  in  a  field,  but  has  been 
discovered  : — &  people  send  him  out  luncheons — five 
or  six  parties,  &  troops  of  ladies  trudge  across  fields 
with  Albums  for  his  Autograph. 

The  weather  has  often  been  lovely  here,  but  is  now 
cold,  &  only  fit  for  beetles  &  hogs. 

15.  STRATFORD  PLACE. 
OXFORD  STREET. 
LONDON. 

ii  Oct.  1861. 

I  had  your  letter  this  morning,  which  was  pleasant, 
coming  as  it  did  with  two  other  pleasant  letters  ; — 

196 


Italy  and  Switzerland 

one  from  Emily  Tennyson,  on  their  return  from  the 
Pyrenees; — the  other  from  Franklin  Lushington,  which 
his  Aunt  Lady  Murray  l  being  dead,  tin  has  descended 
to  him.  But  if  you  expect  me  to  write  well  or  much 
you  will  find  yourself  disappointed  :  for  at  this  par- 
ticular juncture  when  every  hour  is  full  of  worry, 
daylight  shortening,  fogs  unceasing,  &  pictures  un- 
finished— at  this  inconvenient  time  I  say — two  Danish 
friends,  &  5  Canadian  cousins  have  simultaneously  & 
inopportunely  turned  up,  to  destroy  my  peace  of  mind 
&  call  forth  the  innate  amiable  qualities  of  my  nature. 
For  if  I  say  "  I  am  particularly  engaged  just  now " 
that  would  only  seem  a  general  excuse  for  showing 
a  cold  shoulder  to  foreigners  &  interrupters  : — so 
that  I  have  made  up  my  mind  to  go  to  Windsor 
with  the  Danes,  &  Leatherhead  2  with  the  cousins — 
2  sublime  sacrificial  acts  which  in  themselves  are 
somewhat,  but  beyond  themselves  involve  seeking 
tickets  &  arrangement  by  notes  to  no  end  of 
botheration.  I  am  glad  you  are  enjoying  yourself. 
I  ain't.  And  as  for  content,  that  is  a  loathsome 
slimy  humbug — fit  only  for  potatoes,  very  fat  hogs, — 
&  fools  generally.  Let  us  pray  fervently  that  we 
may  never  become  such  asses  as  to  be  contented. 
Nevertheless  I  was  sorry  my  last  letter  followed 
you,  as  I  dare-say  it  was  disagreeable  :  which  most 
things  are :  &  myself  especially.  But  did  you  ever 
have  a  beastly  bore  of  a  brother-in-law  who  perse- 

1  Wife  of  the  distinguished  Judge. 

3  Where  "Sister  Newsom"  lived, 

197 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

cuted  you  for  tin?  If  not  you  cannot  enter  into 
my  feelings  just  now. 

Meanwhile  I  left  St.  Leonard's  on  the  3<Dth.  Sept. 
&  went  to  Sir  F.  Goldsmid's  for  3  days.  Such  a 
nice  house  &  pleasant  people !  Such  a  distracting 
Miss  G.  with  such  a  face,  like  Mary  Squeen  of 
Cotts ! — So  then  I  came  back  here,  &  am  involved 
in  fog  &  very  cursed  filth.  Yet  to  me  London  is 
not  hempty.  Holman  Hunt,  Beadons,  Bruce,  Digby 
Wyatt,1  Bergmanns,  Alfred  Seymour,  Terrick  Hamil- 
ton,2 Fairbairn,3  Col.,  Hornby,  &  my  2  Godson's 
families  4 — are  among  those  I  see.  And,  very  possibly, 
the  small  dinners  of  highly  intelligent  or  scientific 
middle  class  friends  are  about  the  really  best  society 
going,  though  you  might  not  think  so,  as  Diamonds 
&  Marchionesses  hardly  ever  enter  into  these  more 
vulgar  Kingdoms  of  Heaven,  nor  are  Duchesses  or 
Princes  frequent. 

Bye  the  bye,  there  is  a  new  spadmodic  poet,  by 
name  Swinburne  who  seems  to  amaze  small  circles. 

The  religious  world  bubbles  &  frizzes,  &  it  is  now 
said  that  the  Athanasian  Creed  is  to  be  repeated 
always  before  dinner  in  all  Godly  houses — &  some- 
times afterwards  also.  One  of  the  Hyaenas  at  the 
Zoological  Gardens  is  dead,  &  one  of  the  Giraffes 

1  The  architect,  knighted  in  1869.     He  was  secretary  to  the 
Executive  Committee  of  the  Great  Exhibition,  1851. 

a  Of  Charters,  Berks.     Became  M.P.  for  Salisbury,  1865. 

3  Thomas  Fairbairn,  whom  Lear  often  mentions  in  his  letters, 
was  the  eldest  son  of  Sir  William  Fairbairn,  the  great  engineer. 

*  Combes'  and  Crosses'. 

198 


X  * 


To  face  page  199. 


Italy  and  Switzerland 

has  brought  forth  a  puppy,  I  mean  a  calf,  that  is 
a  giraffino.  And  the  Hippopotamice,  have,  (I  regret 
to  say)  attempted  to  reproduce  ineffectually  more 
than  once.  A  large  &  not-  pleasantly-odorous  dead 
black  cat  has  adorned  our  door  steps  for  5  days,  bu 
that  is  not  wonderful,  only  sad.  Thomas  Woolner 
the  Sculptor  r  has  taken  a  house  in  Welbeck  St.  & 
Palgrave  the  poet  has  gone  to  live  with  him.  The 
wick  of  the  lamp  wanes,  &  I  stop. 

I2th  October. 

I  can't  add  much  now : — The  Petraja  is  finished,  & 
will  be  sealed  up  in  its  new  frame  on  Monday. 

This  morning  brings  me  one  more  dreadful  letter 
from  Missouri,  shocking  to  read,  &  preventing  my 
thinking  of  anything  besides  its  ugly  subject. 

If  you  are  really  here  by  the  ist.  Nov.,  I  most 
probbbably  shall  see  you. 

2&th  Oct.  1 86 1. 

All  the  nonsense  book,  with  42  additional  illustra- 
tions are  completed  as  woodcuts,  &  negrotiations 
commence  with  a  Buplisher  next  week.  Maclean 
also  is  to  do  a  small  work  on  the  Ionian  Isles — so 
pease  an  darmony  prevale. 

My  elth  is  better :  &  I  am,  (at  this  moment,) 
not  quite  so  sleepy  or  savage  as  I  was  when  I 
wrote  last. 

(Arthur   Stanley  who  visited   Athos   with   W.  G. 

1  One  of  the  seven  original  members  of  the  Prae-Raphaelite 
brotherhood. 

199 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Clark,  writes  on  a  card  "  Athos  beautiful  &  curious  : 
not  classical  enough  for  W.  G.  C.,  not  ecclesiastical 
enough  for  A.  P.  S.") 

The  buzzimless  have  been  here  for  4  hours : — 
I  don't  "  cotton "  to  them.  Patent,  shiny,  lacquer, 
pimmy-puny,  tic  tic  tic  tic.  They  are  however 
ladylike,  &  plucky  as  travelleresses.  I  shall  be 
immensely  delighted  if  Lady  W.  likes  the  "  Petraja  " 
even  half  as  well  as  some  do.  The  garrulous 
gardener  however  did  not  observe  that  I  "sat "  on 
a  "spot"  to  colour  my  plain  &  distance,  but  that  I 
"stood"  on  another  "spot"  to  draw  the  whole. 
Can  the  Hithihopian  go  for  to  change  his  spots? — 
Yea,  but  I  am  not  an  Ethiopian.  O  Lord !  cousins ! 
Canadian  cousins  !  Danish  friends  ! 

You  will  see  Sir  J.  Graham  1  is  dead  :  &  Lord 
Lansdowne 2  very  ill.  I  think  I  shall  stop  now :  it's 
rather  an  amiable  letter  for  me. 

TRIESTE. 

HOTEL  DE  LA  VILLE 
Sat.  16.  Nov.  1861.  10.  a.m. 

I  shall  employ  my  last  hours  on  earth, — i.e.  before 
I  embark  on  the  oshun,  in  writing  to  you — this 
spot,  a  dry  attic  in  the  Hotel  de  Ville,  being 
perhaps  better  adapted  for  writing  than  Adriatic 
waves  would  be. 

1  The  eminent  statesman,  who  sat  in  eleven  Parliaments,  and 
filled  many  great  offices  of  state.  From  his  debut  in  1818  till 
his  death  in  1861,  he  was  one  of  the  most  important  figures  in 
English  political  life. 

3  The  fourth  Marquess. 

200 


Italy  and  Switzerland 

Not  but  the  day  is  as  perfect  &  brilliant  as  any 
poet  might  presume  to  be  the  perfection  of  perennial 
Paradise. 

All  the  traffic  of  Trieste  is  like  gold  &  silver 
set  in  lapis  lazuli  &  emerald,  &  the  air  is  as  lovely 
as  the  wision  &  spectacles  .1  shall  however,  some 
of  the  details  concerning  my  sometimes  but  seldom 
disagreeable,  generally  extremely  pleasant,  &  always 
filled  with  eventually  tumbling  down  upon  my  legs 
circumstances,  journey  from  Folkestone  to  this  place 
to  relate  proceed.1 

First  my  voyage  over  to  Boulogne  was  remarkable 
as  the  only  one  out  of  some  score  made,  which  was 
quite  calm,  &  on  which  &  of  which  I  was  not  sick. 
Moreover  it  was  a  pleasure  to  see  that  wonderful 
old  man  Lord  Brougham 2  who  was  also  passing 
over ;  not  but  that  he  is  greatly  aged  in  appear- 
ance, yet  he  is  a  wonder  of  a  man.  There  was  the 
Hearl  of  Arrowby3  also.  But  what  was  more  to 
the  point,  was  a  young  couple,  Plumers,  going  out 
to  Injy  with  two  delightful  children ;  said  Plumers 
having  a  letter  from  the  Hornby s  to  the  Denisons, 
&  being  old  friends  of  the  Crakes  &  Penrhyns.  At 
Boulogne,  where  Lord  B.  examined  all  the  Restaurant 
&  toddled  about  continual, — the  Plumers,  speaking 
no  French,  were  bothered — &  I  gladly  helped  them 

1  Written  on  the  principle  of  a  German  sentence  intentionally. 
3  He  died  at  Cannes,  seven  years  afterwards,  where  he  had  a 
villa.    At  this  time  he  was  eighty-three  years  of  age. 
3  An  eminent  Conservative  statesman. 

201 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

to  a  carriage,  where  jointly  we  all  talked  &  nursed 
the  childer  to  Paris.  There,  not  a  bit  ol  luggage 
was  opened,  &  at  i  p.m.  I  got  to  the  Louvre.  Next 
day  9th.  I  met  with  T.  Wyatt,1  my  friend  the 
Architect,  &  appointed  to  do  &  see  various  things. 
I  went  also  to  see  one  Chichester  4oscue  supposing 
he  might  be  ill,  but  was  glad  to  find  he  was  better. 
Wyatt  &  I  dined  sumptuously  together,  &  by  8.30 
next  day,  loth  I  was  on  my  way  to  Strasbourg, 
where  I  slept,  as  that  train  stops. 

On  the  nth,  Monday,  at  Kehl  by  8 — luggage 
being  all  registered  to  Vienna.  In  the  carriage  was 
a  very  lady-like  elderly  woman,  who  very  amiably 
assisted  me  in  German  : — we  however,  talked  French, 
&  for  all  the  long  journey  I  shall  always  thank  the 
good  old  lady — who  was  one  of  the  best  informed,  most 
clever, — largeminded,  &  charming  individuals  I  have 
met  with  of  late.  Eventually  I  came  to  know  that 
her  son  is  Ambassador  or  Minister  either  at  Vienna 
or  Paris,  (his  name  being  Wimppfen) : — I  suppose 
from  some  Court  such  as  Wirtembg.  or  Munich. 
Please  tell  me  if  you  know. 

At  Brucksal  Madme.  W.  &  I  fraternized  &  dined 
together.  Beyond  that  our  converse  was  disturbed 
by  a  Servian  Countess  with  an  unruly  boy — whom 
I  took  to  task  :  the  Countess  had  a  suite  of  5 
persons — whom  it  seemed  to  me  she  snubbed.  At 
Stuttgart,  some  ladies  of  the  Queen  were  sent  to 
see  Mdme.  W.  who  had  to  speak  of  the  K.  &  Q. 

1  Brother  of  Digby  Wyatt 
202 


Italy  and  Switzerland 

&c — whereon  the  Countess  who  understood  all 
tongues,  thought  fit  to  take  her  legs  off  the  seat 
&  bully  her  boy  into  decent  quiet,  &  to  favour 
Mdme.  &  me  by  several  items  of  notice.  Later 
when  Madame  W.  &  I  were  talking  of  Corfu,  she 
suddenly  calmly  asked  me  if  I  knew  a  "  famiglia 
princepesca,  chiamata  Roma? — la  figlia  maritata  al 
Governatore  di  India,  uno  Sir  George  Bowen — tutti 
parenti  della  principessa  de  Monte  N.  ?  " l 

By  10  we  arrived  at  Munich,  &  the  day  having  been 
fine,  it  was  great  fun  to  see  the  country  as  well  as 
to  be  so  well  off  for  company.  Tuesday — i2th.  I 
was  on  my  legs  all  day.  I  had  no  idea  of  the 
curiousity  and  interest  of  Munich — much  as  I  had 
heard  of  it.  That  a  single  man,  (Louis,2)  should 
have  made  such  a  capital  is  very  extraordinary.  At 
the  table  d'hote — 6.  P.M.  there  were  two  Italians, 
who,  by  my  talking  to  some  others,  took  me  for  a 
Florentine — but  when  the  other  lot  went  away, — 
hearing  me  speak  English,  asked  me  what  country 
I  was  of,  &  on  my  saying  English,  became  very 
communicative.  I  found  that  the  man  knew  every 
part  of  the  South  of  Italy — &  he  must  have  been 
puzzled  by  my  knowledge  of  all  the  families  of  the 
Abruzzi  &  Calabria.  I  found  he  went  to  get 
my  name  afterwards — though  that  could  not  have 

1  A  princely  family  called  Roma?  the  daughter  married  to 
the  Governor  of  India,  one  Sir  George  Bowen — all  relations  of 
the  Princess  of  Montenegro  ? 

a  King  Louis  I.  of  Bavaria,  who  was  compelled  to  abdicate 
in  1848. 

203  m 


enlightened  him  much  : — but  I  did  the  same  towards 
him,  &  discovered  he  was  F[rancis]  2d's  minister 
to  Bavaria, — only  just  arrived  ! 

At  10.  P.M.  off  by  rail  :  the  dear  old  Wimpfennious 
lady,  a  Phanariote  Gk,  &  myself  getting  a  Coupe" — : 
the  Servian  Countess  &  suite  another  carriage.  Con- 
versation in  the  coupe  was  carried  on  in  English, 
French,  German,  Italian,  &  Greek,  &  was  very 
amusing  all  night,  especially  a  dissertation  on 
religion  of  which  we  3  represented  3  forms — I,  in 
the  middle,  acting  as  "buffer"  to  the  2  extremes 
Orthodox  &  Schismatic. 

At  Salzbourg — (3.  A.M.  i3th.)  Austrian  frontier: 
luggage  all  gone  on,  no  bother.  Servian  boy  fell  ill — 
&  all  the  party  had  to  stop.  Perhaps  I  was  hard 
on  the  Countess,  but  she  struck  me  as  vulgar  &  a 
spy. — At  Vienna  by  noon  :  an  ugly  noisy  place 
which  I  hate.  I  got  all  my  luggage  safely,  and  was 
not  bothered  a  bit :  the  one  drawing  of  Jerusalem 
acting  on  the  feelings  of  the  whole  Douane. 

On  Thursday  i4th — off  at  8.30 — by  alas — a  slow 
train,  for  the  quick  trains  now  only  go  twice  weekly 
— meantime  there  was  more  leisure  to  see  the 
wonderful  Lemmeriz  Alp  well.  Was  horribly  starved 
for  23  hours — as  the  brutal  train  only  stops  once, 
&  then  for  15  minutes  in  the  most  awful  crowd — 
impossible  for  a  blind  man  to  penetrate. — So  at 
7.30.  yesterday  Friday  I5th,  I  came  to  this  excellent 
Hotel  :  &  I  have  since  walked  all  about  Trieste, 
written  letters  to  Dickinson  &  my  sister  Ellen — 

204 


Italy  and  Switzerland 

&  a  long  one  to  my  Godson's  brother — full  of 
advice  worthy  of  Lord  Chesterfield,  Elijah,  or 
Kingsley :  besides  this  to  you.  Which  I  pray  you 
reply  to — addressing  to  me  at  Corfu.  I  will  write 
also  as  soon  as  I  get  there. 

But  ah  !  (the  Landscape  painter  said,) 

A  brutal  fly  walks  on  my  head 

And  my  bald  skin  doth  tickle ; 

And  so  I  stop  distracted  quite, 

(With  itching  skin  for  who  can  write  ?) 

In  most  disgusting  pickle — 

&  merely  sign  myself 

Yours  affectionately. 

Tell  me  when  you  have  seen  the  new  Book  of 
Nonsense.  Routledge  &  Warne,  2  Farringdon  St., 
will  publish  it,  but  it  will  make  it  more  known  to 
advise  it  to  be  purchased  at  other  booksellers. 
Please  recommend  it  all  you  can.  I  will  write  to 
Lady  W.  soon. 


205 


CHAPTER  VIII 

1861-1862 


Lear  to  Fortescue. 

CORFU.  Dec.  ist  1861. 

MY  DEAR  4oSCUE,  I  have  wished  to  write 
before,  but  could  not  get  settled  enough  to  do 
so.  After  I  left  Trieste,  I  had  an  abominable  passage 
hither :  once  we  were  on  the  point  of  putting  back, 
but  finally  we  got  here  20  hours  after  our  time — 
on  the  1 9th. 

Everybody  was  overwhelmingly  hospitable,  from 
the  Palace  downwards : — but  as  the  balls,  &  small 
monotonous  whist  or  tea-parties  are  wholly  out  of 
my  line  in  this  very  very  very  small  tittletattle 
place,  &  as  moreover  night  walks  from  this  side 
of  the  City  to  the  other  don't  suit  me,  not  to  speak 
of  late  hours  &  a  multitude  of  new  &  uninteresting 
acquaintance,  I  decline  all  visiting  on  the  plea  of 
health  &  antiquity  or  what  not.  The  Woolfe's  ' 

1  Mr.  (afterwards  Sir)  Henry  Drummond  Wolfe  was  appointed 
Secretary  to  Sir  Henry  Storks,  the  Lord  High  Commissioner,  in 
May,  1860,  after  the  departure  of  Sir  George  Bowen. 

206 


Corfu 

have  very  amiably  asked  me  several  times : — they 
seem  very  &  justly  popular ; — but  the  only  point 
at  which  Greeks,  Germans,  French,  Italians,  & 
English  in  such  a  place  as  this,  can  amalgamate 
being  balls  &  the  smallest  of  gossip — this  tone  of 
social  life  bores  me  even  more  than  total  loneliness — 
tho'  that  is  very  bad  for  me  I  know  : — only  the 
alternative  is  wusser.  The  Sargents 1  seem  nice 
people,  but  they  live  remote.  The  Colquhouns2 
are  remote  &  less  nice — by  report.  The  Palace 
is  dull  :  no  lady — :  the  dinner  there  of  1 2  was  as 
all  dinners  are.  The  General  is  going,  &  what  I  am 
sorry  for,  Lady  B[uller],  she  being  one  of  the  nicest 
women  here. 

What  I  find  queer  here  is  the  extreme  Toryism 
of  all  parties,  except  Sir  C.  Sargent.  (You  will 
remember  that  the  swells  here  are  so  by  a  Tory 
ministry.)  Yet  it  sounds  queer  to  hear  the  revolu- 
tion in  Italy  spoken  of  sometimes  with  horror,  some- 
times as  merely  an  absurd  phase  of  politics  soon 
to  pass  by  ;  though  on  consideration,  you  can  easily 
suppose  that  any  such  a  word  as  "nationality"  must 
be  odious  to  the  ears  of  all  Govt.  parties — and 
you  can  easily  conceive  that  the  R.  C.s — native  & 
English  have  a  tower  of  strength  in  the  P[ope]s 
consul — &  that  they  believe  in  the  speedy  extinction 

1  Sir  Chas.  Sargent,  member  of  the  Supreme  Council  of  Justice 
of  the  Ionian  Isles,  1860,  in  the  place  of  Sir  J.  Reid. 

*  Sir  Patrick  M'Chombaich  Colquhoun,  Chief  Justice  of  the 
Ionian  Isles,  1861,  in  the  place  of  F.  Lushington. 

207 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

of  V[ictor]  Efmmanuel,]  &  the  restoration  of  the 
Roman  States  to  Pio  IX.  There  is  a  movement 
among  the  Jews  also — for  "representation"  (!  !  !  !  !) 
at  which  both  Greeks  &  R.  C.'s  foam  &  scoff. — 

Meanwhile  the  society  is  far  less  amalgamated  than 
in  former  years,  when  such  old  resident  &  reputed 
families  as  the  Reids — Gisbornes — Cortazzis  &  others, 
made  a  nucleus  of  social  life,  or  when  so  intellectual 
a  man  as  F.  Lushington  had  a  table  &  house.  And  so, 
the  aspect  spiritual  of  this  little  piggywiggy  island  is 
much  as  a  very  little  village  in  Ireland  would  be — 
peopled  by  Orangemen  &  papists — &  having  all  the 
extra  fuss  &  ill-will  produced  by  a  Court  &  small 
officials — more  or  less  with  or  against  a  resident 
crowded  Garrison. 

The  aspect  material  meanwhile — (with  which  I 
have  most  to  do — tho'  unhappily  no  man  can  be 
quite  independent  of  the  others,)  is — so  far  as  climate 
&  country  goes,  lovelier  than  ever.  Yet  seeing  it 
has  never  rained  since  April  last,  &  that  it  is 
now  daily  perfectly  clear  &  fine — the  wise  anticipate 
3  months  rain  at  once  &  continual.  For  myself  I 
must  get  through  this  winter  as  well  as  I  can,  the  loss 
of  my  dear  Ann,  &  also  of  Lushington  as  a  resident 
here,  being  a  great  weight  to  bear. 

Many  things  here  amuse  me  to  hear,  but  there  is 
no  time  to  write  now  :  nor  could  all  the  Gladstone- 
Young  details  be  written  down  if  I  had.  One  of 
Henry  Bowen's  brothers  commands  one  of  the 
Regiments — but  he  &  the  Govt.  are  not  on  "  terms  " 

208 


Corfo 

— Morier's  brother-in-law  Major  Peel,1  is  an  A.D.C. 
Old  Lady  (Heber)  Valsamachi,  still  lives  lingeringly. 
The  whole  affair  of  "  lonianism "  appears  to  me 
absurd  &  ill-conditioned  : — an  impossible  end  tried 
for  by  impracticable  means.  Clark,  the  good  chap- 
lain is  still  here : — but  I  shan't  go  regularly  to 
church, — &  if  he  sees  the  "  Essays  &  Reviews  "  on 
my  table — me  voila  fini.  Aubrey  de  Vere  has  just 
arrived — which  if  I  had  to  see  him,  would  be  a 
bore :  but  isn't.  O !  if  I  could  but  come  back  to 
London,  bringing  with  me  the  gold  &  blue  &  lilac 
&  pink  of  the  air,  sun,  hills  &  snow  with  me !  How 
is  Mrs.  Ruxton?  The  prison  has  been  revolting 
lately  &  Lady  Emily  K[ozziris]2  greatly  disturbed. 
K.  seems  to  be  agreed  on  by  all  hands  as  more 
incompetent  than  ever. 

CORFU.  17  Dec.  1861. 

I  was  highly  pleased  to  get  your  two  letters  yester- 
day,— the  Lord  High  C.  having  sent  them  to  me 
promptitiously.  Before  now  you  will  have  received 
mine  of  the  3rd.  I  trust,  though  I  don't  think  it  was  a 
very  lively  one.  The  present  ephusion  of  my  pen  will 
be  written  in  better  sperrits,  because  I  have  got  to 
work,  &  am  working  hard  : — moreover  I  got  letters 
from  Frank  Lushington  yesterday — &  also  from  the 

1  John  Peel,  fourth  son  of   Lieut.-Gen.   the   Right  Hon.  J. 
Peel.     He  had  served  throughout  the  Crimean  War,  and  was 
appointed  Assistant  Military  Secretary  at  Malta  in  1864. 

2  Her    husband,    Giovanni    Kozziris,    was    Keeper    of    the 
Prison. 

209  P 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 


printer  of  the  "  Book  of  Nonsense  " — who  tells  me 
that  Routledge  &  Warne  have  brought  it  out  &  that 
over  500  copies  have  been  already  sold.  Please  do 
what  you  can  to  encrease  the  sail  by  axing  and  talking 
about  it. 

The  room  I  have  to  paint  in  is  A  No.  I — looking 
out  on  Salvador  &  Seagulls : — 25  feet  long  & 
made  by  me  my  total  living  room.  This  is  a  plan 

of  the  house,  a  rummy  one 
enough  as  to  shape.  (CLO.. 
means  windies.  era.  means 
greats  or  firy  places.  = 
means  doors.)  ....  The 
only  great  annoyance  to  the 
house  is,  that  like  as  in  all 
Corfu  houses  you  hear  all  the  noises  of  every  other 
inmate  besides  yourself:  &  the  people  over  me, 
— (Col.  Maude,)  tho'  very  amiable  folk,  are  awfully 
noisy.  .  .  .  One  of  the  best  comforts  of  this  place  to 
me  is  the  greater  amount  of  daylight  both  in  quality, 
and  in  number  of  ours.  Fancy  drawing  out  of  doors 
till  5.5.  P.M.  as  I  did  yesterday!  as  for  the  weather  it 
is  Paradise  multiplied  by  10 : — tho1  of  course  a  flood 
of  rain  must  needs  come  bye  &  bye. 

I  like  the  Lord  High — who  has  asked  me  to  dine 
twice,  &  once  walked  back  from  the  One  Gun  with  the 
landscape  painter — What  I  like  in  him  is  that  he  has  a 
will  besides  brains, — &  has  a  soldierly  &  straight- 
forward manner  quite  trustworthy,  &  withal  a  proper 
setting  forth  of  dignity.  The  Court  is  called  dull — but 

210 


Corfu 

at  least  it  is  not  like  that  of  the  Young  Dynasty — 
which  was  wholly  a  Dilettante  affair — &  one  always 
felt  that  the  whole  set  were  there  for  Lady  Y.'s 
"  amusement,"  &  G.'s  benefit.  Sir  John's  vacillating 
manner  &  softness — mustard  &  mulberries  in  a  hash, 
are  well  replaced  by  the  present  Governor's  qualities 
as  far  as  a  "  worm  "  can  judge,  &  I  think  he  is  well 
looked  on  by  all — certainly  as  a  man  of  business  there 
is  but  one  opinion  of  him.  .  .  . 

Meanwhile  I  am  really  delighted  at  the  Petraja 
pleasing  her  [Lady  Waldegrave]  so  much :  &  she 
could  not  have  made  me  understand  her  liking  of  it 
more  than  by  the  comparison  of  it  to  my  singing. 
You  do  not  say  if  Mr.  Harcourt's  fall l  was  a  fit  or  a 
mere  slip  of  the  foot. 

I  had  not  heard  of  Lady  Canning's  2  death,  &  I  am 
on  account  of  those  who  survive  her,  most  sorry  for  it. 
It  seems  to  me  most  especially  sad,  that  after  such  a 
terrible  trial  as  her  Indian  residence  has  been,  neither 
Lord  C.  nor  poor  Lady  Waterford,3  nor  Lady  S.  de 
Rothesay  should  be  permitted  to  benefit  by  her  return 
home — an  event  till  now  so  nearly  in  view.  To  me, 
either  in  Rome  many  many  years  ago,  or  at  Osborne 

1  On  his  return  with  Lady  Waldegrave  from  their  continental 
trip,  Mr.  Harcourt  had  a  serious  fall  at  Folkestone,  which 
shortly  afterwards  resulted  in  his  death. 

3  Wife  of  the  first  Viceroy  of  India.  She  was  the  eldest 
daughter  of  Lord  Stuart  de  Rothesay. 

3  A  sister  of  Lady  Canning's.  Her  husband,  the  third 
Marquess,  was  killed  in  a  hunting  accident  in  1859.  Her  gifts 
as  an  artist  were  of  a  very  high  order. 

211 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

House, — or  afterwards  again  at  Rome,  or  after  that  in 
London,  Lady  Canning  was  always  exactly  the  same 
kindly  consistent,  &  pleasant  woman  : — unspoiled,  tho' 
having  enough  admiration  for  20  fine  ladies,  &  full  of 
taste  and  intelligence  &  unostentatious  goodness. 
With  the  worldliness  &  humbug  of  the  L.s  &  the 
vulgarity  of  the  G.s  she  was  to  my  feeling  most 
vividly  contrasted :  &  I  should  think  few  persons 
would  be  more  truly  mourned.  If  you  hear  any 
particulars  of  her  death  let  me  know  them. 

One  thing  is  needful  that  Henry  Grenfell  sends  me 
the  dye-mentions  of  his  picture  of  Philae  *  : — I  wish 
particularly  to  have  time  to  paint  it  here,  where  the 
sunsets  are  capital : — so  please  ask  him  to  write  the 
feat  a  niches  in  the  next  letter  you  send,  which  please 
the  pigs  may  be  soon. 

What  my  letters  are  to  you  I  can't  say,  for  I  never 
read  them  over,  but  I  believe  they  would  be  quite  as 
fit  to  read  100  years  hence  as  anybody  elses  naughty 
biography,  specially  when  written  off  hand  as  mine  are. 

I  wish  I  had  more  time  for  Greek  :  if  I  had  my  way 
&  wor  an  axiom  maker  &  Lawgiver,  I  would  cause  it 
to  be  understood  that  Greek  is  (or  a  knowledge  of  it) 
the  first  of  virtues  :  cleanliness  the  2nd.,  and  Godliness 
— as  held  up  by  parsons  generally — the  3rd.,  O  mi  hi ! 
— here  is  a  noo  table — sicks  feet  too — by  3  feet  hate  ! 
I  shall  dine  at  one  end  of  it — write  at  the  other,  & 
"  pen  out "  in  the  middle.  For  gracious  goodness 

1  Fortescue's  of  the  same  subject  was  painted  earlier,  but 
GrenfelTs  was,  I  believe,  when  finished,  considered  the  better. 

212 


Corfu 

sake  write !  &  don't  forget  Grenfell's  measure : — nor 
to  thank  Lady  W.  for  her  message  :  nor  not  to  cease 
adjuring  people,  especially  Lord  Shaftesbury  &  the 
Bp  of  Oxford — to  buy  the  Book  of  Nonsense  : — & 
O  Lord!  I  forgot  this  horrid  American  war — but  I 
think  more  than  enough  of  it. 

p.S. — A.  Tennyson  has  written  an  im :  &  also  a 
small  pome. 

The  next  letter  from  Fortescue  announced 
the  death  of  Mr.  Harcourt. 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

CORFU.  2gth  December  1861 

Your  letter  of  the  2Oth.,  came  yesterday — you  may 
suppose  with  what  interest  I  read  it.  So  many  deaths 
had  occurred  that  no  fresh  one  surprises  me.  So  Nune- 
ham  is  at  an  end  :  &  Carlton  Gardens  for  the  present. 
What  a  conflict  of  thoughts  must  you  have  just  now 
The  very  best  thing  for  poor  Lady  W.  will  be  quiet 
&  rest  from  the  whirl  of  world  at  present.  &  do  you — 
in  as  far  as  you  can — promote  that  I  wished  to  say  so 
often  during  last  season  of  theatres  &c.,  but  I  did  not, 
knowing  that  you  felt  all  I  could  say  without  my  saying 
it,  &  also  that  circumstances  almost  force  certain 
conditions  of  life  &  cannot  easily  be  changed. 

Now  however,  I  do  hope  she  will  be  quieter,  for 
enough  friends  of  the  first  order  both  of  rank  &  mind 
as  well  as  of  heart,  she  is  certain  to  have  : — and  a  long 
list  of  acquaintance  leaves  no  after  pleasure  when  they 

213 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

flit  away.  I  shall  be  very  anxious  to  hear  of  her, 
knowing  well  her  vivid  feeling  of  all  that  affects  her 
singular  life.  Pray  give  her  my  kindest  remembrance 
if  you  think  it  right  to  do  so.  I  had  begun  a  letter 
to  her  full  of  nonsense,  but  nonsense  is  not  the  order 
of  the  day,  so  it  is  torn  up. 

Prince  Albert's  death  is  shocking.1  Poor  Queen  ! 
If  stability  of  thrones  is  for  the  benefit  of  peoples,  &  if 
the  good  life  of  Sovereigns  conduces  to  the  stability  of 
thrones,  then  Prince  Albert's  death  is  to  be  mourned 
most  deeply. 

Recalling  past  sayings  reminds  me  that  after  I 
was  at  Osborne2  I  wrote  down  all  the  details  of 
my  stay  there,  &  one  was,  that  Prince  Albert 
showed  me  all  the  model  of  the  House,  (then 
being  built  only,)  &  particularly  a  Terrace,  saying — 
"  This  is  what  I  like  to  think  of — because  when  we  are 
old,  we  shall  hope  to  walk  up  &  down  this  Terrace 
with  our  children  grown  up  into  men  &  women." 

Dr.  William's  trial  by  Dr.  Lushington  3  interests  me 
— I  do  not  think  I  shall  write  more  now — but  go  to 

1  He  died  quite  suddenly  on  the  i4th  December,  before  the 
nation  had  time  to  realise  that  he  was  ill. 

2  This  must  have  been  when  Lear  was  giving  drawing  lessons 
to  the  Queen. 

3  Dr.  Rowland  Williams,  the  Vicar  of   Broad   Chalke  with 
Bower  Chalke  and  Alvedistone,  near  Salisbury,  was  one  of  the 
contributors  to  "  Essays  and  Reviews."    He  was  prosecuted  by 
the  Bishop  of   Salisbury  for  heterodoxy  and  tried  before  the 
Arches  Court  of  Canterbury,  December  19,  1861,  to  January  16, 
1862.   By  judgment  delivered  in  June,  sentence  of  suspension  for 
one  year  was  passed  ;  but  this  judgment  was  reversed  in  1864. 

214 


Corfu 

Church  &  assist  at  the  worship  of  false  gods,  (beside 
your's  &  mine.) 

Lear  to  Lady  Waldegrave. 

CORFU.  5//z.,  January  1862. 

MY  DEAR  LADY  WALDEGRAVE,— I  had  begun  a 
letter  to  you,  which  I  am  now  most  glad  I  never 
finished  &  sent  before  I  received  one  from  C. 
Fortescue,  dated  the  2oth.  &  21  St., — for  in  that  he 
told  me  of  what  had  then  just  happened, — the  death 
of  Mr.  Harcourt, — the  day  after  I  had  written  to  F. 
making  enquiries  as  to  his  health  since  his  fall  at 
Folkestone.  I  now  take  another  sheet  to  write  to  you, 
since  it  seems  to  me  that  any  sympathy  may  be 
welcome  to  you  just  now,  for  I  feel  certain  that  not 
only  the  loss  of  Mr.  Harcourt  must  have  greatly 
agitated  you,  but  that  you  will  feel  it  deeply  for  a  long 
time.  Even  to  me,  the  news  came  as  a  surprise,  for  I 
thought  he  might  have  lived  many  more  years,  &  I  at 
once  remembered  how,  at  Nuneham,  on  his  last 
birthday  but  one  when  I  had  wished  him  "  many 
happy  returns  of  the  day  " — he  had  said, — "  When  you 
make  those  congratulations  to  one  of  my  age,  you 
should  leave  out  the  word  many"  And  it  appears  to 
me  that  this  sudden  breaking  of  a  close  tie  must  have 
affected  you  particularly  : — for  in  spite  of  the  difference 
of  age  &  of  your  natural  dispositions,  death,  after  a 
union  of  many  years,  must  assuredly  keenly  affect  the 
survivor  of  two,  when,  as  I  know  to  be  the  case  with 
your's,  the  nature  of  the  one  left  is  full  of  warmth  & 

215 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

truth. — So, — I  shall  be  very  glad  to  hear  that  your 
health  is  good,  &  that  by  a  time  of  quiet,  you  are 
gradually  feeling  this  sudden  shock  less, — I  cannot  but 
think  too  that  it  is  a  great  thing  for  you  to  be  able 
to  look  back  on  the  last  years  of  Mr.  Harcourt's 
life  as  happier  than  those  earlier — (at  least  they 
seemed  so  to  me  even  since  I  knew  him,)  and  in  the 
last  journey  of  this  Autumn,  C.  F.  told  me  Mr.  H. 
had  repeatedly  said  he  had  never  enjoyed  himself 
so  much.  Moreover,  the  feelings  which  many  of 
his  family  have  for  you,  must  alone  be  a  source  of 
comfort. 

For  Mr.  Harcourt  was  always  personally  more  than 
usually  kind  to  me,  &  at  present  I  can  call  up 
numerous  recollections  of  him  at  all  4  houses,  &  none 
but  pleasant  ones.  How  pleased  I  am  now  that  you 
have  the  two  Nuneham  pictures  !  As  well  as  that  of 
Petraja  where  you  so  lately  were  together.  (And  bye 
the  bye  I  ought  to  thank  you  about  the  payment  for 
that,  &  to  tell  you  how  extremely  pleased  I  was  to 
know  you  liked  it  so  much.)  It  seems  to  me  that  in 
converting  memories  into  tangible  facts,  recollections 
&  past  time  as  it  were  into  pictures,  lies  the  chief  use 
&  charm  of  a  painter's  life.  (I'm  sure  if  it  isn't,  I  don't 
know  where  it  is,  for  technical  study  &  manipulation 
will  always  be  a  bore  to  me.)  .  .  . 

I  know  you  will  not  be  displeased  at  my  writing  this 
letter  the  like  of  which  you  must  have  many  of  just 
now  :  &  you  need  not  read  it,  if  you  have — (as  I  dare 
say  you  have,)  much  to  do  &  think  of: — so  long  as 

216 


Corfu 

you  consider  it  to  be  written  from  a  friendly  motive  & 
forgive  its  want  of  etiquette — that  is  all  I  care  about. 

Lear  to  Fortescue, 

CORFU.  Janry.,  8,  1862. 

I  could  not  help  sending  a  line,  knowing  well  how 
she  [Lady  Waldegrave]  feels  the  death, — &  I  hope  & 
believe — she  will  take  it  for  what  it  is  intended  to  be 
— As  you  say,  (&  as  I  think  I  have  nearly  said,) 
despite  difference  of  age  &  nature,  they  lived  so  long 
&  closely  united  that  it  must  be  a  very  different  heart 
from  Lady  Waldegraves  that  would  not  feel  the  sudden 
breaking  of  the  tie  most  keenly.  I  imagined  she 
would  go  to  Dudbrook r — &  almost  wished  she  had 
not,  only  because  the  clay  soil  &  damp  is  so  chilling  & 
trying  in  winter.  I  shall  gladly  hear  how  she  is,  as  soon 
as  you  can  tell  me.  All  you  have  said  of  her  in  this 
last,  is  extremely  interesting.  She  did  all  possible  to 
make  his  (Mr.  Harcourt's)  life  a  happy  one,  &  it 
certainly  was  happier  as  he  grew  older.  She  cannot 
have  any  retrospections  of  neglect  or  want  of  affection 
for  him,  but  on  the  contrary  many  consolations  arising 
from  having  singularly  done  a  wife's  duties, — always 
looking  at  their  different  tempers  &  other  circum- 
stances of  life.  Mrs.  Malcolm  is  a  duck. 

As  for  you,  my  distinct  opinion  is  that  you  have 
much  contributed  to  the  happiness  of  both  Mr.  H.  & 
Lady  W.  in  many  ways  ;  as  to  producing  more  regula- 
tion of  her  mind  by  prompting  cultivation,  &  as  to  that 

1  Her  house  in  Essex. 
217 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

reflecting  again  on  his  life.  I  can  well  enter  into  all 
your  feelings — &  how  your  mind  is  full  of  memory- 
images  of  all  these  years.  Try  your  utmost  now  to 
prevent  her  ever  embarking  again  full  sail  in  a 
London  fashion-life — million-cardy  surface  existence  : 
as  I  said  before,  she  will  always  have  enough  first  rate 
intimates  to  create  more  than  sufficient  society,  &  may 
be  an  A.  No.  i.  leader  without  the  need  of  a  multitude 
of  followers.  I  shall  long  to  hear  more. 

I  don't  see  why  Lord  C[arlisle]  should  regret  you 
not  being  Chief  Secry.     Does  he  Lord  C.,  wear  his 
trousers  buttoned  over  his  waistcoat  as  H.  B. 
used  to  draw  him  ?     However,  he  is  a  very 
good  man  really.   (I   did  not  expect   you  to 
have  seen  the  "  Nonsense,"  which  poor  book 
has  come  into  a  world  of  sadness  :  but  you 
may  buy  &  give  a  copy  to  Arbp.   Cullen,1   one   to 
Sir  Thingummy  the  M.P.  for  Dundalk2 — &  one  to 
the  O'Donaghue.)  3 

Fortescue  to  Lear. 

RED  HOUSE, 

nth  January,  1862. 

.^  .  .  I  have  been  hearing  constantly  from  Dudbrook 
from  Ward  Braham,  and  two  or  three  times  from  my 
Lady  herself.  She  has  been  and  is  very  wretched — 
her  spirits  completely  broken,  and  missing  him  who 

1  The  Archbishop  of  Dublin.   In  July  he  founded  the  Catholic 
University  of  Ireland  at  Drumcondra. 
a  Sir  Geo.  Bowyer.    See  footnote,  p.  165. 
3  M.P.  for  Tipperary.    (All  three  zealous  Roman  Catholics.) 

218 


Corfu 

has  been  her  companion  for  the  last  fourteen  years  ex- 
tremely— far  more  so  than  other  people  would  believe. 

.  .  .  Before  I  end  this,  I  must  ask  you  a  serious 
question,  which  no  other  living  human  being  can 
answer  except  yourself,  and  I  much  doubt  that  you 
can.  I  do  it  at  the  request  of  a  first  cousin  of  mine,  a 
certain  Mrs.  Tisdall,  whose  children  have  been  feast- 
ing upon  the  "  Book  of  Nonsense,"  viz.  : — "Did  the 
lady  in  the  last  picture  fall — or  will  she  fall — on  her 
face,  or  her  back  ? "  The  latter  way  of  falling  is 
supposed  to  be  the  most  ladylike — but  my  fair  cousin 
doesn't  say  so. 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

CORFU,  21.  January,  1862. 

In  reply  to  your  question  about  the  Lady  of  Clare — 
I  will  ask  Dr.  Phillimore  or  some  one  of  deep  thought 
for  I  do  not  myself  know  what  that  curly  burly 
woman  ended  in  : — but  I  was  disgusted  at  the 
Saturday  Review  Dec.  21.  talking  of  the  Non- 
sense verses  being  ' '  anonymous,  &  a  reprint  of  old 
nursery  rhymes,"  tho'  they  gave  "  Mr.  Lear  credit 
for  a  persistent  absurdity."  I  wish  I  could  have  all 
the  credit  due  to  me,  small  as  that  may  be. 

I  wrote  to  you  on  the  Qth.,  &  to  Lady  W.  also. 
All  you  tell  me  of  her  is  very  interesting,  &  will 
become  of  course  more  so.  It  is  a  period  of  your 
life  immensely  pivotty  &  absorbing. — Yesterday  Capt. 
Vernon  called,  an  apparently  nice  fellow  rather,  tho' 
with  somewhat  of  the  semi-ungainliness  &  hardness  of 
that  branch  of  the  family.  He  spoke  of  Lady  Selina 

219 


Letters  of  Edward  Leai 


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220 


Corfu 

[VernonJ,1  &  of  Lady  W. — of  the  latter  in  a  way 
which  pleased  me  very  much — &  was  an  antidote 
partly  to  a  letter  I  had  had  2  days  before,  in  which 
Lady  W.  was  spoken  of  so  as  to  put  me  in  a  rage — 
only  I  knew  exactly  from  whom  the  illnatured  non- 
sense was  derived.  It  is  enough  that  Mrs.  Malcolm2 
&  Lady  Selina,  of  those  who  saw  Lady  W.  most 
intimately,  are  the  best  friends  in  speaking  of  her — : 
the  others  may  all  go  &  be  bothered. 

Franklin  Lushington  is  married  to-day.3     Of  my  10 

original    friends — (No.    3 

1.  W.  Nevill.  . 

__  being    dead) — only   num- 

2.  Bernard  Husey  Hunt.     .  _         ' 

_    .        TT       .  bers     8     &     10     remain 

3.  Robert  Hornby.  .     ,        _.  0    _.  ,    . 

.      TT     _     ,          single.     Nos.  i  &  6  being 

4.  Battersby  Harford.  ....  ^.7^    T 

_  '  viddies.     JJtdn  t    1    read 

5.  John  Cross.  _.  .      ,  ,        T 
*    _TT    _,  Fitzstephens   speech: — I 

6.  S.  W.  Clowes.  .  -       _ 

/-u     i       TV/T    /-u       u  am     on     thorns     for     Dr- 

7.  Charles  M.  Church.         _  ,  r    .  .  ,  n    .      , 

^   _  L  s  ushington  s     judge 

8.  C.  Fortescue.  0  %       J    J, 

_   T     .  .  ment,   &   1    see  they  are 

o.  r.  Lushington.  .    .  . 

TTT   TT  ,  bringing      another       suit 

10.  W.  Holman  Hunt.  , 

against    another  author.4 

Quem  Deus — these  priests  will  be  swept  away. 

Next  week  Miss  GoldsmidS  comes — what  the  fine 
&  pious  world  will  say  to  a  live  Jewess  remains  to 

1  Widow  of  his  eldest  brother  and  daughter  of  the  third  Earl 
of  Clanwilliam. 

2  Sister  of  Mr.  Harcourt,  Lady  Waldegrave's  husband. 

3  To  Miss  K.  M.  Morgan. 

<  Referring  to  the  prosecution  of  contributors  to  the  l<  Essays 
and  Reviews." 

s  Daughter  of  Sir  Francis  Goldsmid.    See  footnote,  p.  183. 

221 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

be  seen  ;  what  does  it  matter  that  she  is  good, 
sensible,  accomplished,  &  handsome  ?  If  she  don't 
believe  in  the  supernatural  attributes — birth,  &c.,&c., — 
of  course  she  must  go  to  'L. — 

Col.  Maudes  people,  over  me,  are  amiable,  the 
Decies — (she  a  Miss  Prescott r) — are  very  nice. — 
The  Sargents  &  Woolffs  I  go  to  at  times.  One 
Luard — which  I  made  drawings  when  I  was  16 
for  his  grandfather  who  was  very  kind  to  me — I 
am  delighted  to  find  here,  as  he  is  a  superior  youth, 
&  polyarchaiotopochromsgraphical  in  his  tastes  :  so  I 
axes  him  to  dine — &  "pen  out"  all  the  evening. 

(The  woes  of  painters  :  just  now  I  looked  out  of 
window  at  the  time  the  2nd  were  marching  by — I 
having  a  full  palate  &  brushes  in  my  hand  :  whereat 
Col.  Bruce  saw  me  &  saluted ;  &  not  liking  to  make  a 
formillier  nod  in  presence  of  the  hole  harmy,  I  put  up 
my  hand  to  salute, — &  thereby  transfered  all  my 
colours  into  my  hair  &  whiskers — which  I  must 
now  wash  in  Turpentine  or  shave  off.) 

Why  don't  Grenfell  write  ?  If  you  are  asked  ever 
about  that  Book  of  Nonsense,  remember  I  made  all 
the  verses  :  except  two  lines  of  two  of  them — Abruzzi 
&  Nile.  I  wish  someone  would  review  it  properly  & 
funnily. 

I  have  no  fresh  Americain  news :  from  Otago,  where 
my  nephew,  C.  H.  Street  is  Sub-treasurer  at  3$o£ 
per  annum,  my  sister  writes  gold  is  making  immense 

1  Daughter  of  W.  G.  Prescott,  the  banker  of  Threadneedle 
Street,  I  believe. 

222 


Corfu 

changes.  C.  S.  will  I  suppose  make  his  fortune. 
I  was  much  distressed  by  next  door  people  who  had 
twin  babies  &  played  the  violin  :  :  but  one  of  the  twins 
died,  &  the  other  has  eaten  the  fiddle — so  all  is  peace. 
General  Duller  goes  in  a  week.  Sir  John  Inglis 
comes.  I  will  stop  for  a  time  &  finish  this  if  a  tall — 
tomorrow. — E.  L. 

2T>rd.,  I  heard  yesterday  from  my  sister  Ellinor,  who 
has  heard  from  St.  Louis.  My  brother  Fred  K.  is  "  on 
General  Prices  staff"  whatever  that  may  mean — :  his 
only  son  Frank  a  Lieut,  in  the  same  army — which 
is  "  surrounded  by  the  Federal  Army  " — the  writer — 
Frederick's  wife's  sister,  writes  in  dreadful  terror  & 
sadness.  They  have  however  received  two  batches 
of  money  I  have  sent  in  letters — in  notes  : — Were 
the  correspondence  good,  much  might  be  learned  of 
Missouri  &c.,  but  they  write  "  religiously "  &  franti- 
cally.— I  beg  you  will  endeavour  to  abolish  sham 
religion  when  you  are  a  Minister. 

2nd  Feb.,  1862. 

I  want  to  hear  more  of  Lady  W.  I  hope  she  did 
not  dislike  the  letter  I  wrote.  I  heard  abroad  that 
she  wished  to  marry  the  C[omte]  de  P[aris]  to  the 
daughter  of  the  Parma  people  r — &  that  she  was  a 
great  friend  to  all  the  B[ourbons]  :  &  the  A[umales] 
will  gladly  enlist  her  interest  &  house  as  a  help  to 
them.  That  they  should  be  friends  is  natural  &  right 
but  that  she  should  in  anyway  assist  that  effete  &  bad 

1  Princess  Marguerite,  daughter  of  Charles  III.  of  Bourbon, 
Duke  of  Parma,  who  died  1854. 

223 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

lot — as  a  sovereign  family — to  future  power  would 
be  vexatious  to  all  who  know  &  like  her.  A  year 
&  a  half  ago  I  told  her  she  had  been  wrongly 
informed  as  to  the  state  of  Naples  (Kingdom) :  she 
however  was  sure  that  the  B.'s  were  well  looked 
on  in  the  province.  Yet  Garibaldi's  march  from 
Reggio  to  the  Capital  must  have  settled  that 
question. 

The  P[rince]  of  W[ales]  is  to  be  here  in  two  or 
three  weeks — I  suppose  only  passing  : — Arthur  P. 
Stanley  I  see  by  the  papers  is  to  be  with  him — 
who,  though  no  courtier,  is  exactly  the  man  for  such 
a  place :  &  his  nomination  to  it  greatly  pleases  me. l 
Alas!  for  my  visit  to  Jerusalem!  shall  I  ever  get 
there?  (I  should  not  like  to  go  with  the  Royal 
party  tho' — nine  league  boots — &  all  restraint.) 

Sir  H.  S.  Storks  is  particularly  kind  to  me.  He  is 
a  well-bred  man  &  fitted  in  all  respects  for  his  place  it 
seems  to  me.  I  discover  by  degrees  why  the  military 
don't  like  him  * — he  is  only  a  Colonel  in  the  Army — 
ergo  Generals  &  Colonels  don't  like  to  be  under 
him  : — But,  so  far  as  I  can  learn,  their  small  pro- 
vocations have  been  only  necessarily  interfered  with 
by  him.  I  never  saw  society  so  disjointed  and  dis- 
hevelled as  this  is  nowadays. 

Miss  Julia  Goldsmid   has   come — with  a  friend — 

1  The  Prince  of  Wales  went  on  a  tour  to  Egypt  and  the  East 
from  February  to  June,  1862,  and  Arthur  Stanley,  at  this  time 
examining  chaplain  to  the  Bishop  of  London,  accompanied 
him. 

224 


Corfu 

Mrs.  Nay  lor.  (I  got  them  rooms  in  a  new  Hotel, — 
the  other  part  of  which  is  taken  by  Kozziri  &  Lady 
Emily.)  Miss  G.  had  determined  I  find,  not  to  go  to 
the  Synagogue  here, — &  had  she  not  done  so,  I 
should  have  deterred  her  if  possible  from  going 
there.  For  as  the  Jews  here  are  all  of  the  lowest 
orders,  the  advent  of  a  Lady  might  have  brought 
"  Confusion  on  the  little  Isle."  O  Lord !  I  must 
take  Mrs.  Naylor  to  church  this  afternoon  : — 

I  dine  at  Woolffs  today  which  may  or  may  not  be 
"a  bore."  Mrs.  W.  is  a  clever  little  woman — very: — 
(I  remember  you  used  often  to  bully  me  for  being 
"  easily  bored  "  by  people  :  but  when  one  reflects — 
you  yourself  are  most  singularly  hedged  in  & 
unapproachable  by  all  but  a  very  limited  set  & 
class  : — (no  fault  of  yours — I  only  wish  I  could  be 
so  too:)  "Moral" — you,  avoiding  various  disagree- 
ables in  men  &  things  cannot  justly  blow  me  up 
for  disgust  at  not  being  able  to  avoid  said  disagree- 
ables.) (As  a  point  of  illustration,  Lord  E.  B. 
is  here — deaf,  &  to  me  a  frightful  bore.  But  to  the 
unsensitive,  he,  being  a  Lord,  &  "  affable  &  talks  so 
much!"  is  "a  delightful  man"!) 

I  am  on  thorns  for  Dr.  Lushington's  decision  about 
Williams.  Should  Williams  be  condemned,  I  think 
you  will  not  be  surprised  by  my  openly  becoming  a 
Unitarian  some  day — :  for  if  Popes  &  Parsons  are 
to  sit  on  our  brains,  it  behoves  them  as  has  any  to 
stir,  &  show  they  have  not  succumbed  to  the  chains 
of  Priesthood  altogether.  Do  you  read  the  National 

225  Q 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Review  ? — Do  you  not  think  that  there  will  be  war 
with  Yankeedom  even  yet  ?  Mrs.  Tennyson's  letters 
are  a  great  pleasure  to  me.  My  old  friend  W.  Neville 
(of  Gresham  St.)  has  taken  Sir  T.  Laurences  house 
in  Russell  Square — :  I  always  used  to  wish  for  that 
myself.  At  present  my  only  wish  is  that  these 
accursed  Rats  were  away,  &  that  Col.  Maude 
wouldn't  bump  his  chair  over  my  head  so.  The 
old  General I  is  going  to  leave  Corfu,  &  the  new,  Sir 
J.  Inglis,2  is  just  a-coming.  Count  G.  Henchel  von 
Donnersmarck — his  name  is  not  quite  long  enough — 
has  come  back  :  he  is  the  delight  of  most — as  he  talks 
unceasingly  &  in  a  completely  monotonous  voice :  to 
me  he  is  the  deadliest  of  bores,  tho'  not  bad  as  a  man 
I  daresay.  Is  not  perpetual  talk — idealess  prattle — 
the  utmost  of  bore  ? 

I  am  feeling  to  begin  to  wish  not  to  come  to 
England  this  year :  but  two  months  will  decide. 
Keeping  up  rooms  in  London  &  two  long  journeys 
are  certain  expenses,  pitted  against  what  are  very 
uncertain  gains.  There  is  a  man  in  a  boat  here 
under  the  window — who  catches  fish  all  &  every 
day  with  a  long  5  pronged  fork :  a  waistcoat  & 
drawers  being  his  dress.  Why  should  I  not  do 
the  same? 

1  Sir  George  Duller,  K.C.B.,  served  in  the  Kaffir  War  1846-7, 
and  commanded  a  brigade  at  the  battles  of  the  Alma  and  Inker- 
mann,  and  continued  to  serve  at  the  siege  of  Sevastopol,  1855. 

a  Major-General  Sir  John  E.  R.  Inglis,  K.C.B.,  Colonel  of  the 
32nd  Foot.  He  earned  lasting  renown  by  his  gallant  defence 
of  Lucknow  in  the  Indian  Mutiny,  1857. 

226 


Corfu 

CORFU,  16  Feby.  1862. 

I  am  much  pleased  that  Lady  W.  liked  my  letter  : 
to  have  given  her  a  mite  of  pleasure  is  something.1 
As  you  say,  such  phases  of  life  are  "  not  meant  to  be 
banished  as  dreams,  but  to  influence  life  &  character 
for  good '."  And  again,  I  agree  with  you  that  no  con- 
ceivable position  of  life  ought  to  be  blotted  from 
memory — if  it  could  be. 

I  delight  in  the  knowledge  of  Lord  &  Lady  Cler- 
mont  constantly  enjoying  my  pictures : — they  are  a 
placid  duck-like  couple,  &  I  like  to  hear  of  their  life. 

Bye  the  bye  looking  into  last  years  journal  (I 
generally  compare  years,)  I  find  on  Sunday, 
Feb.  loth.,  1 86 1  "4<Dscue  breakfasted  with  me,  & 
staid  2\  hours.  His  society  is  always,  I  think  in- 
variably a  great  comfort  to  me,  &  even  my  bore- 
ability  &  fastidious  worry  can  hardly  ever  find  any 
vexation  therefrom,  which  I  think  I  cannot  say  of 
that  of  any  other  living  man." — There  Sir!  I  fear 
that's  what  you  can't  say  of  me  tho' !  My  journal 
will  be  funny  enough  100  years  hence — tho'  I  only 
write  down  what  is  shortest  &  most  personal. 

Twice  I  have  walked  out  with  Miss  Goldsmid  & 
her  friend  Mrs.  Naylor  : — Miss  G.  has  all  the  talent 
of  her  race,  &  is  very  amiable.  But  Lord !  Lord ! 
how  slow  they  walk — whereby  I  freeze  &  sneeze. 
Once  I  have  dined  there — yea — twice ;  &  the  even- 

1  Of  this  letter  Lady  Waldegrave  said  :  "  He  writes  just  the 
right  things  to  me,  but  a  man  who  sings  like  that  must  under- 
stand other  people's  feelings." 

227 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

ings  were  pleasant — apart  from  Garrison  gossip,  & 
full  of  intelligence  &  agreableness.  On  Saturday 
the  8th.,  salutes  announced  the  New  General's 
arrival,  Sir  J.  &  Lady  Inglis1  &  family — not  to 
speak  of  endless  furniture,  &  on  the  same  day  more 
salutes  recorded  the  departure  of  Sir  G.  &  Lady 
Duller — "so  the  old  order  giveth  place  to  new" — 
I  am  sorry  not  to  see  Lady  B.  again,  as  I  liked  her. 
On  the  loth,  came  the  Capt.  Geoffry  Hornby 2 — 
suddingly — his  ship  the  Neptune  having  come  from 
Malta.  An  odd  rush  of  other  day  memories  came 
to  me  on  seeing  &  hearing  him  : — but  unless  he 
dines  at  Major  de  Veres  3  today  I  am  not  likely  to 
see  or  hear  him  much. 

Letters  have  been  aboundigle : — Mrs.  Tennyson 
sends  me  those  truly  beautiful  &  grand  lines  of 
Alfred,  as  the  dedication  of  the  Idylls  to  P.  Albert's 
memory  :  I  hardly  ever  read  anything  lovelier.  That 
duck  also  sent  me  an  immense  account  of  Frank  L.'s 
wedding.  Meanwhile  the  Osborne  has  gone  past 
here  for  the  P.  of  Wales  whom  they  expect  on 
Thursday  the  2Oth.,  (I  am  sorry  to  hear  A.  P. 
Stanley  does  not  come  with  him.)  no  one  seems  to 
know  how  long  he  stays.  I  do  not  think  I  shall 
put  myself  forward  at  all — for  you  know  Artists, 
unless  R.As.,  never  go  to  Royal  Levees  in  England. 

1  A  daughter  of  the  first  Lord  Chelmsford. 
a  Second  son  of  Lear's  old  friend,  Admiral  Sir  Phipps  Hornby, 
of  Littlegreen. 

3  Major  F.  H.  De  Vere,  fifth  son  of  Sir  Aubrey  De  Vere. 

228 


Corfu 

So  E.  B.  is  to  marry  Lord  S.  : — I  wish  he  would 
present  her  with  my  Masada,  as  she  went  up  to  the 
castle. 

There  are  a  Mr.  Lair,  a  Mr  Luard,  a  Mr.  Layer, 
&  a  Mrs.  Lien,  here  : — may  they  meet  with  the  reward 
due  to  having  names  so  beastly  like  mine  ! 

The  Elections  are  over,  of  which  you  will  probably 
know  more  than  I. 

My  new  Gallery  contains — (tho'  none  are  complete 
&  tho  No  9  is  not  there  at  all  yet,)  No  i  a  large 
Corfu — begun  in  1856 — No  5  a  smaller.  7  ditto — 
8  ditto  :  (respectively  200,  100,  50  &  30  guineas) 


The  last  is  I  think  sold  to  a  Major  Reynolds :  the 
first  a  wealthy  Mrs.  Fort  seems  to  desire.  2  Mt. 
Athos  for  Sir  F.  Goldsmid.  3.  Florence  for  F. 
Fairbairn.  4.  Turin  &  the  Halps.  6  Lake  of 
Butmito — (also  is  in  possible  way  of  sale  for  50 
guineas.) 

I  have  been  looking  carefully  over  all  A.  Tenny- 
son's poems,  &  noting  out  all  the  Landscape-subjects 
once  more — which  in  all  amount  to  250.  Sometimes 
I  think  I  shall  make  the  last  effort  of  my  life  to  illus- 
trate the  whole  of  these  by  degrees — &  finally,  having 
constructed  a  gallery  near  London,  receive  shillings  for 
the  sight  of  my  pictures,  &  expire  myself  gradually — 

229 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

in  the  middle  of  my  own  works,  wheeling  or  being 
wheeled  in  a  Narmchair.  Intanto  do  you  see  the  Book 
of  Nonsense  on  all  Railway  Bookstalls  ?  I  shut  up. 

The   reference   to   Miss  B is  explained 

in  a  letter  of  Fortescue's  dated  the  2ist  of 
February,  in  which  he  says : 

Are  you  aware   that  one   Miss    B is  gone — 

turned    into    Lady    S ?      Of    course    you    are. 

Do  you  know  how  it  happened?     The  B book 

was  severely  handled  in  the  Athenaeum.  Miss  B. 
wrote  to  the  Editor,  requesting  to  know  the  author  of 
the  critique,  that  she  might  convince  him  of  his 
injustice,  etc.  Soon  after,  Lord  S.,  whom  she  had 
never  seen  before,  walked  into  her  room,  announced 
himself  as  her  assailant,  came  again,  etc.,  etc.  Let  us 
charitably  hope  that  he  has  since  done  her  justice 
in  every  way. 

Lear  must  have  been  misinformed  about 
Arthur  Stanley's  movements,  for  Fortescue 
also  says : 

...  I  saw  Arthur  Stanley  in  this  room  .  .  .  the 
day  before  he  started  to  join  the  Prince  at  Alexandria. 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

CORFU,  6  April,  1862. 

I  am  not  able  to  write  well — being  far  behind  with 
many  letters,  and  having  been  seriously  incon- 

230 


Corfu 

venienced  in  many  ways — by  the  act  of  moving 
upstairs  into  the  third  floor  of  this  house  (at  length 
I  have  got  some  quiet !)  and  by  having  been  obliged 
to  inhabit  a  small  room  for  a  week,  out  of  good  nature 
— because  the  paint  in  another  house  was  not  dry,  and 
the  parson,  living  where  I  now  do,  did  not  like  to 
budge.  .  .  . 

I  have  had  an  extremely  nice  letter  from  Ly.  W. 
Please  thank  her.  Some  rhinocerous  beetle  had  told 
her  I  thought  Dudbrook  unhealthy.  Of  course  I  hear 
enough  of  her  marriage — and  by  some  am  pumped 
sufficiently  :  at  present  I  hear  either  Marquis  of  Bath 
or  Duke  of  Devonshire  are  the  favoured  chances  ! !  I 
believe  myself  that  things  will  all  go  rightly — but  shall 
nevertheless  hear  gladly  if  anything  occurs,  as  at 
times  I  fuss.  .  .  . 

Possibly  the  Cedars  may  sell — whereby  joy  will 
arise  in  the  Landscapepainter's  buzzim.  .  .  . 

A  letter  from  H.  Hunt  is  sad — telling  me  of  poor 
Egg's  I  house  being  burned. 

14  April,  1862. 

W[olff]  knows  as  little  of  me  as  may  be,  beyond 
that  he  and  Mrs.  W.  have  been  very  good  in  asking 
me  there,  and  that  I  have  not  gone.  You  can  well 
guess  that  sudden  intimacies  with  a  crowd  is  not  al 
mio  gusto.  He  is  a  good  enough  little  fellow,  but  too 
rdpandu  and  superficial  to  please  me  greatly,  though 
not  more  so  than  is  just  the  thing  for  his  place  here, 

1  Augustus  Leopold  Egg,  the  painter. 
231 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

and  they  are  very  properly  highly  popular.  He  can- 
not do  without  society — and  it  is  not  easy  to  find  out 
at  first  how  much  men  like  you  who  ask  odious  and 
vulgar  people  just  as  they  do  oneself — more  by  way  of 
having  someone  to  break  the  life  of  monotony  here 
than  from  really  esteeming  one.  After  a  while  how- 
ever, they  asked  me  in  a  different  way,  and  were 
really  very  friendly,  but  he  is  right  in  saying  that  I 
have  not  been  in  good  spirits.  The  occupation  of  my 
life — a  daily  journal  to  my  sister  Ann,  is  gone  :  and 
constant  losses  of  friends  do  not  enliven  (bye  the  bye, 
Mrs.  Stanley  is  gone,1  and  now,  poor  dear  Mr.  F. 
Beadon2: —  well  if  George  Clive  recovers.  3  .  .  . 
— So  far  written,  Peel  comes  to  say  goodbye  Mrs. 
R.  Morier's  brother. — And  so  I  sit  down  again,  but 
my  thread  of  thought  is  broken  as  the  spider  said 
to  the  housemaid.  Sir  H.  K.  S.  has  been  particularly 
amiable  to  me — always,  and  all  through.  I  wish  you 
had  come  to  Malta  and  up  here ! ! — only  I  am  in  a 
constant  fever  to  hear  more  of  Ly.  W.  I  am  glad 
she  is  going  to  C.  Harcourt's,  and  am  sure  she  will 
see  much  of  some  of  that  family  always — Mrs.  M., 
&c.,  &c.  No  one  shred  of  work  having  been  pur- 
chased here,  I  have  come  to  the  end  of  my 
money.  .  .  .  Fairbairn's,  Sir  H.  Goldsmid's,  and 
Grenfell's  pictures  must  therefore  be  finished — being 

1  Arthur  Stanley's  mother. 

2  The  Rev.  Frederick  Beadon,  Rector  of   North  Stoneham, 
Hants. 

3  G.  Clive  had  had  a  seizure  of  a  paralytic  nature. 

232 


Corfu 

sent  on  to  England — and  I  must  work  there  to 
finish  Turin  and  other  pictures,  hoping  to  sell  them. 
The  worry  of  being  so  without  ready  money  bores 
me  continually.  I  go  to  Paleocastrizza  tomorrow 
for  a  week — but  the  weather  is  quite  peculiar — dull 
heavy  scirocco  always — and  I  am  all  aweary  of  my 
life.  Whether  I  shall  ever  brighten  up  I  can't  tell — 
probably  not,  as  I  am  50  next  May. 

Here's  a  bit  of  news  to  wind  up  with.  After  I  had 
written  the  letter  which  encloses  this,  I  heard  a  great 
noise,  and  saw  4  carts  full  of  furniture,  all  being 
brought  into  this  house — proceeding  which  disturbed 
me  with  fears  of  being  less  quiet — seeing  that  a  6th 
added  to  the  5  families  in  this  house,  would  not  add 
to  my  peace.  So  I  asked  a  servant  going  upstairs — 
(G.  being  out)  what  the  row  was.  "It  comes  from 
Kozziris,"  says  the  man.  "  Mrs.  K.  is  going  to  leave 
him  and  come  and  live  here."  I  said  nothing,  but  did 
not  believe  it :  the  Lord  4bid  such  a  thing  should 
happen.  But  when  George  came,  says  he — "  these 
things  are  to  be  sold  by  auction,  for  Sig.  Kozziris  is 
going  to  leave  his  "  Posto  "  as  keeper  of  the  prison, 
and  they  are  going  to  England,  where  they  say 
Signora  Kozziris  is  of  a  familia  grande  e  ricca  assai — 
and  will  keep  him.1 

1  It  will  be  remembered    that  Lady  Emily  Kozziris  was  a 
daughter  of  the  second  Earl  of  Clancarty. 


233 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

PALAEOKASTRIZZA, 
EASTER  SUNDAY.    April  20,  1862. 

I  wish  you  were  here  for  a  day,  at  least  today  : — 
only  that  you  are  at  "  Red  House,"  which  is  properer 
and  Abercrombier.  I  have  been  wondering  if  on  the 
whole  the  being  influenced  to  an  extreme  by  everything 
in  natural  or  physical  life,  i.e.,  atmosphere,  light, 
shadow,  and  all  the  varieties  of  day  and  night, — is  a 
blessing  or  the  contrary — and  the  end  of  my  specula- 
tions has  been  that  "things  must  be  as  they  may," 
and  the  best  is  to  make  the  best  of  what  happens. 

I  should  however  have  added  "quiet  and  repose" 
to  my  list  of  influences,  for  at  this  beautiful  place  there 
is  just  now  perfect  quiet,  excepting  only  a  dim  hum  of 
myriad  ripples  500  feet  below  me,  all  round  the  giant 
rocks  which  rise  perpendicularly  from  the  sea : — which 
sea,  perfectly  calm  and  blue  stretches  right  out  west- 
ward unbrokenly  to  the  sky,  cloudless  that,  save  a 
streak  of  lilac  cloud  on  the  horizon.  On  my  left  is 
the  convent  of  Paleokastrizza,  and  happily,  as  the 
monkery  had  functions  at  2  a.m.  they  are  all  fast 
asleep  now  and  to  my  left  is  one  of  the  many  peacock- 
tail-hued  bays  here,  reflecting  the  vast  red  cliffs  and 
their  crowning  roofs  of  Lentish  Prinari,  myrtle  and 
sage — far  above  them — higher  and  higher,  the 
immense  rock  of  St.  Angelo  rising  into  the  air,  on 
whose  summit  the  old  castle  still  is  seen  a  ruin,  just 
1,400  feet  above  the  water.  It  half  seems  to  me  that 
such  life  as  this  must  be  wholly  another  from  the 
drumbeating  bothery  frivolity  of  the  town  of  Corfu. 

234 


Corfu 

and  I  seem  to  grow  a  year  younger  every  hour.  Not 
that  it  will  last.  Accursed  picnic  parties  with  miser- 
able scores  of  asses  male  and  female  are  coming  to- 
morrow, and  peace  flies — as  I  shall  too.  .  .  . 

Enough  of  myself  for  the  present,  only  as  one  wants 
one's  friends  to  write  about  M^zVselves,  one  goes  and 
does  likewise.  I  shall  be  anxious  now  every  letter  to 
hear  something  of  your  destinies — though  perhaps 
they  must  rather  be  talked  of  than  written. 

A  great  drawback  to  these  Islands  is  the  once  a 
week  post  :  there  is  a  tension  and  a  vacuum  for  six 
days — and  a  horrid  smash  of  disappointment  if  the  7th 
brings  nothing. 

I  hope  this  summer  we  may  get  a  quiet  two  or  three 
days  together,  for  I  take  it  after  a  short  time  you,  the 
last  of  the  Mohicans,  will  cease  also  to  be  single,  at 
least  I  hope  so,  though  the  fact  of  your  doubling  your- 
self would  cut  you  off  more  from  my  intercourse.  .  .  . 
In  your  old  age  I  suppose  you  will  be  a  minister,  and 
won't  go  near  Ireland, — or  I  might  settle  to  die  at 
Flurry  bridge  or  Dundalk  (! !),  and  get  good  studies  at 
Newcastle  and  Ravensdale.  But  I  shall — or  should 
— have  a  chapel  of  my  own.  Belfast  Protestantism, 
Athanasian  creeds,  and  all  kinds  of  moony  miracles 
should  have  no  entrance  there  :  but  a  plain  worship  of 
God,  and  a  perpetual  endeavour  at  progress.  (Which 
reminds  me  of  Tennyson's  little  poem  of  "Will," 
which  I  have  been  trying  to  translate,  and  part  of 
which  I  send  you. 

One  thing,  under  all  circumstances  I  have  quite 

235 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 


decided  on  —  cnrofyaaiaa  aKp&ug  l  —  when  I  go  to  heaven 
"if  indeed  I  go"  —  and  am  surrounded  by  thousands 
of  polite  angels,  —  I  shall  say  courteously  "please 
leave  me  alone  !  —  you  are  doubtless  all  delightful,  but 
I  do  not  wish  to  become  acquainted  with  you  :  —  let 
me  have  a  park  and  a  beautiful  view  of  sea  and  hill, 
mountain  and  river,  valley  and  plain,  with  no  end  of 
tropical  foliage  :  —  a  few  well-behaved  small  cherubs  to 
cook  and  keep  the  place  clean  —  and  —  after  I  am  quite 
established  —  say  for  a  million  or  two  of  years  —  an 
angel  of  a  wife.  Above  all,  let  there  be  no  hens! 
No,  not  one  !  I  give  up  eggs  and  roast  chicken  for 
ever  !  "  —  which  rhapsody  arises  from  a  cursed  infernal 
hen  having  just  laid  an  egg  under  my  window,  and 
she  screeches  !  O  Lord  !  how  she  screeches  and  will 
screech  for  an  hour  !  Wherefore,  Goodbye.  No  more, 
dear  friend,  for  at  a  screech  I  stop. 


avTog  TOV   biroiov  17  SeXeo-te  iivat  Svvara  ! 
£,   aXXa  cev  Sa  vwoQepei  TroXu, 
i,  aXXd   Slv  tfjuroptt  va  vtrotytpti  aSticwp, 

A«<m,  TO  ?   irepiiraiyfJia  TOV  &apv<l>(i>vov  Koapov  Sev  TOV  KIVEI, 

Mrjrc   oXa  ra  ^utytara  KUjuara  rrje  Suoru^taf  TOV  TapaTTovv  : 

"Oiroiog  (ftaivETdi  aic/ou>r?j/>iov  Trfrpae, 

How,   irepiyvpiafjitvov  jue  Sropv&wSeg  a.KOV(Tfia, 

T<>v  TTtXayov  Sl^erat  TJJV   KVfiaTi^oixrav   avytcpovaiv, 


S'aXX  avTov,  irov,   Slv  icaX»jr£p£vwv  fit^po 
qv  Svvafjivv   oujoavou-KaraSatvovro 

1  I  unconditionally  refuse. 
236 


Corfu 

Kcti  Travrore  y£V£t  a^evtcrrepog   Sta  irpaTTWfjitvov  tyf 
'H,   atyaXfJia   TTOU   (fratveTai  ^apttv   KOI   a-uyyvwarov, 
icai   oTroSaXXov  aei,  — 
jg  tva  row   biroiov  ra   (rr/^eTa  arlicovrat 
Ilovovra  etc   afttrpov  a/^uov, 
Kat   Trajoa   rtva  KOTrtao-jUevrjv  KaucrwSTjv  yijv, 
OoXo/zaKjoav,   Kara   ^Xoyto-jUtvov    SroXov,  —  toow  !— 
'H   Troytg    (T7rivSepi%£i  wcrav  crtroc  aXaroc 

tt?  fiiav   pvrtv  TOV   VTTfpCoXtKoO   Souvow. 


It  is  needles  to  observe  that  I  have  not  attempted 
to  render  the  original  (it  is  at  the  end  of  the  volume 
of  "  Maud  ")  in  verse,  which  if  I  had  done,  it  would 
have  been  worse.  Also,  the  first  verse  has  been 
corrected  by  Sir  C.  Sargent  :  the  second  is  still  in  its 
virgin  absurdity.  ...  I  vote  you  do  not  destroy  my 
longer  letters,  leastwise  till  you  get  another  of  them, 
because  if  I  died  they  would  amuse  you.  Considering 
that  little  more  than  6  years  ago  I  didn't  know  a  letter 
of  the  Greek  alphabet,  I  think  I  might  translate 
A.  T.'s  poems  in  some  10  or  20  or  50  years  more. 

April  27. 

I  returned  here  on  the  22nd  —  much  the  better  for 
my  stay  etc  rlv  i^ox^v.1 

...  I  wish  I  was  married  to  a  clever  good  nice  fat 
little  Greek  girl  —  and  had  25  olive  trees,  some  goats 
and  a  house.  But  the  above  girl,  happily  for  herself, 
likes  somebody  else. 

1  My  stay  in  the  country. 
237 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 


CASA  na/xi/tt&torrt,  LINE  WALL,  CORFU, 
May  7,  1862. 

At  first  I  was  rather  alarmed  about  the  "  medium  "  * 
affair,  for  the  mere  going  to  those  impostors  and  the 
attraction  of  continued  conversation  about  them  does 
a  deal  of  harm,  when  those  who  go  to  see  and  return 
to  talk  are  people  of  position  whose  example  is 
sheepily  followed  by  thousands  of  fools  —  from  Bel- 
gravian  fools  downward.  But  if  you,  Kinglake,2 
Woolff  and  others  speak  as  plainly  as  you  write  to  me, 
then  I  believe  good  may  come  of  these  people  being 
visited.  That  they  are  gross  impostors,  "  trading  " 
(as  a  good  letter  in  the  "Times"  said  some 
weeks  ago)  "  on  the  affections  and  credulity  of  man- 
kind "  —  I  have  no  doubt  :  yet  many  do  not  think  so  ; 
and  it  should  be  the  part  of  those  who  are  wise, 
and  who  can  suffer  fools  gladly  —  (which  I  never 
can)  to  enlighten  the  Assy  =  masses  who  can't  help 
themselves  —  God  not  having  willed  them  much 
brains,  and  priests  having  muddled  the  little  they 
have.  .  .  . 

A  more  gritty  vexation  is  that  I  have  done  so  little 
in  Greek  or  in  Greek  topography  this  winter.  Never- 
theless I  shall  bring  away  the  most  part  of  this  Island 
I  fancy.  .  .  .  Tomorrow  I  go  out  again  to  Lefchimo, 
and  by  the  time  I  return  thence  I  trust  to  hear  how 

1  All  London  at  this  time  was  flocking  to  the  seances  of  the 
medium  Forster,  so  much  so  that  the  Times  devoted  a  leading 
article  to  the  matter. 

9  Author  of  the  celebrated  history  of  the  Crimean  War. 

238 


Corfu 

my  pictures  look  at  the  Gt.  International  Exn  J — seeing 
that  2  R.  Academicians  had  the  hanging  of  them,  i 
should  tremble  for  their  fate,  were  not  one  of  the 
Commissioners — Fairbairn — my  friend. 

May  17.  ...  On  the  I3th,  (being  half  a  century 
old  the  night  previous)  I  came  away — and  staid  a  day 
at  KAojuw,2  whence  perhaps  is  the  finest  Channel  and 
mountain  view  of  all  in  Corfu.  But  I  could  not  stay 
for  certain  reasons,  and  came  in  again  on  the  14  to 
Corfu.  Alas !  there  I  learned  a  dismal  fact,  and  one 
much  interfering  with  my  plans.  The  two  last  (bother 
them)  Liverpool  steamers  have  gone  by  here  without 
touching ! ! ! — so  that  my  boxes  are  still  here,  and  I  do 
not  know  now  if  they  can  be  sent  off  before  July. 
What  to  do  I  know  not,  as  I  wholly  depended  on  their 
being  completed  by  that  time  in  London,  and  on  my 
having  the  money  for  them.  I  am  for  the  present 
bewildered  :  and  can  only  send  £$  to  the  subscription 
for  the  Lancashire  poor  spinners,  on  the  principle  that 
he  that  hath  nothing  is  to  give  up  what  he  hath.  I 
am  absolutely  uncertain  when  I  leave — or  what  to  do 
— or  why  :  or  which  :  or  whizzlepopps.  .  .  . 

Both  Holman  Hunt  and  yourself  have  kindly  written 
about  my  pictures — both  saying  the  same  as  to  their 
being  hung  so  high.  Two  R.A.'s  having  had  to 
decide  their  destiny  it  is  a  great  thing  they  were  hung 
at  all.  ...  I  am  in  such  an  infernal  rage  about  these 
pictures  that  I  can't  write  any  more.  I  fancy  I  shall 
give  up  Stratford  Place  this  year.  Do  the  Japanese 

1  Opened  at  South  Kensington  on  May  ist.         a  Klomo. 

239 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Ambassadors1  want  a  Topographic  Artist?  I'll  go 
back  with  them,  and  perform  the  "  Happy  Dispatch" 
if  I  draw  badly.  .  .  .  We  perceive  the  ancient  Wolff2 
is  dead.  Mrs.  W.  goes  to  England  soon.  She  is  a 
very  clever  little  woman.  With  her  is  a  nice  Greek 
girl.  When  we  meet  ac  Sa  6//tArjo-w^tv  TroAu.3 

1 9th  May 

I  find  the  "Marathon"  goes  to-morrow,  so  I  certainly 
can't  go  thereby.  After  all,  20  days  at  sea  is  a  horrid 
loss  of  time.  She  takes  to  England  (besides  my 
pictures)  old  Lady  Valsamachi — Heber's  widow — to 
die  there,  I  should  think. 

Yesterday  I  went  to  church.  Lord  !  Lord  !  what 
an  idiotic  sermon  did  good  Craven  preach  about  the 
next  world,  as  how  "  many  excellent  men  believed  that 
we  should  not  recognise  anyone  in  the  future  state, 
because,  if  we  were  to  do  so,  we  should  also  perceive 
our  friends — alas !  great  numbers  of  them  !  tortured 
in  the  gulf  of  fire  below — as  it  is  plain  from  Dives 
twigging"  (he  did  not  say  "twig")  "Lazarus  in 
heaven  above."  Why  are  men  allowed  to  talk  such 
nonsense  unsnubbed  in  a  wooden  desk,  who  would  be 
scouted  in  an  ordinary  room  ? 

1  The  first  Embassy  ever  sent  by  Japan  to  Europe  came  ovei 
this  year  to  visit  the  Great  International  Exhibition. 

3  The  Rev.  Joseph  Wolff,  father  of  H.  Drummond  Wolff,  of 
Hebrew  origin,  was  the  first  modern  missionary  to  preach  to  the 
Jews  at  Jerusalem.  He  styled  himself  "Apostle  of  our  Lord 
Jesus  Christ  for  Palestine,  Persia,  Bokhara  and  Balkh." 

3  I  hope  we  shall  meet  often. 

240 


Corfu 

The  afternoon  and  evening  I  passed  pleasantly  with 
Col.  and  Mrs.  Wynne  ;  he  is  a  cousin  of  the  Wynne 
who  married  Lady  Clermont's  sister,  and  she  is  a 
granddaughter  of  old  Lady  Clancarty — whereby  Lady 
E.  Kozziris  is  her  fust  cuzzing.  She  told  me  a  good 
story  of  that  old  lady — tho'  I  fear  you  must  know  it. 
At  the  Clancarty  hospitable  dwelling  vast  numbers 
were  gathered  :  and  one  rude  fast  youth  who  did  not 
know  the  Lady  of  the  house  personally,  dragged  a 
portmanteau  roughly  upstairs  and  threw  sticks  &c.  &c. 
about  in  the  hall,  saying — "  Why,  this  house  is  just 
like  a  hotel !— just  like  Betty  Cuffe's  ! "  "  But  Sir," 
said  the  dignified  and  outraged  Lady  C. — advancing 
to  him  "  you  do  not  seem  aware  that  Betty  Cuffe  has 
a  great  advantage  over  the  mistress  of  this  mansion  : 
she  is  not  compelled  to  associate  with  those  who  come 
under  her  roof!"  (Cubby  collapsed). 

I  beg  to  say,  the  weather  is  one  continual,  I  say 
again,  comtimmuel  and  never  ending  scirocco — not  a 
mountain  visible  for  days  past — nor  like  to  be  till  rain 
comes.  I  think  therefore  I  shall  start  by  the  Ancona 
boat  on  the  5th,  and  risk  the  Italian  fetes.  The 
Thursday's  debates  ought  to  come  today. 

2Oth.  They  did  come,  and  I  was  delighted  with 
Lord  P[almerston]'s  speech.  A  more  wretchedly 
factious-crooked  maunder  than  Dizzy's  display  would 
be  found  with  difficulty.  It  does  not  even  read  as  if 
it  had  been  well  spoken,  whereas  P.'s  is  all  straight- 
forward bluff  truth,  and,  I  should  fancy,  must  have 
been  greatly  worth  hearing. 

241  R 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Wonderful  to  relate,  I  have  packed  up,  and  decided 
to  go  by  the  Liverpool  steamer  Marathon,  which  is 
expected  to-day  or  to-morrow — by  Zante  and  Malta — 
and  to  England  about  the  icthor  i2th  I  suppose.  .  .  . 
So  here's  for  the  Island  valley  of  Avilion  :  and  therefore 
don't  write  again. 


242 


CHAPTER   IX 

May  to  November,   1862 

MALTA   AND    ENGLAND 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

IMPERIAL  HOTEL,  VALETTA. 
29  May  1862. 

HERE    I  am — still  on  my  way  England  wards. 
But  how  it  comes  that  I  turned   out  of  the 
Liverpool  steamer  "  Marathon  "  and  have  been  here 
since  Sunday — I  will  now  defulge. 

I  went  on  board  the  "  Marathon  "  on  Tuesday  the 
2Oth,  believing  she  would  start  directly — and  go 
directly  to  Liverpool.  But  she  didn't  start  till 
Wednesday,  and  then,  arriving  at  Zante  she  staid 
two  whole  days  there :  and  so,  by  degrees  I  heard 
it  said  that  she  would  do  ditto  here, — and  at 
Messina,  and  at  Palermo, — and  might  reach  England 
on  the  loth  or  I2th  of  June.  Witch  fax  I  only 
came  at  granulously  as  it  were — grain  by  grain, 
as  the  pigeon  said  when  he  picked  up  the  bushel 
of  corn  slowly.  Whereon — said  I  to  myself — if 
so  be  as  I  can  get  my  fare  back  again,  I  will 
even  go  ashore  at  Malta — and  see  that  much  be- 

243 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

loved  place — and  wait  for  a  Marseilles  boat — thereby 
hoping  to  reach  England  before  the  8th — (and  at  a 
more  convenient  end,  to  wit,  Newhaven  or  Dover), 
and  meanwhile  resting  my  weary  lims  on  beds  of 
hashphodil,  and  moreover  escaping  the  chance  of  bad 
weather  in  the  Bay  of  Biscuits  and  the  Irish  Channel. 

And  to  the  honour  and  glory  and  pleasure  of  the 
Marathon  be  it  said,  they  guv  me  back  my  fare 
cheerfully — and  have  since  gone  on  their  way  with  the 
great  lieutenant  whom  thou  hast  made  to  take  his 
pastime  therein.  The  ship  was  a  good  ship :  amazingly 
comfortable  and  thoroughly  well-conducted :  active 
and  intelligent  stewards  pervaded  the  scene  :  enormous 
and  globular  stewardesses  permeated  behind  the 
scenes  :  the  food  was  good  and  plentiful :  the  ossifers 
friendly  and  pleasant.  But,  if  the  ship  encountered  a 
sea — o !  wouldn't  she  roll ! !  being  in  form  like  a  cater- 
pillar, or  right  line — length  without  breadth.  The 
company  was  select  and  rather  quaint.  Besides  the 
Landscapepainter,  was  the  Lady  of  Sir  Demetrius 
Valsamachi — once  the  wife  of  Bp.  Regd.  Heber — poor 
old  lady !  she  was  really  very  amiable  and  pleasant 
when  awake  or  well  enough  to  talk — but  I  am  not 
up  to  talking  much  aboard  ship. 

.  .  .  [Here]  I  only  find  Legh  of  the  old  faces— but 
Col.  Curzon  I  of  the  Rifles  has  amiably  found  me  out, 

1  Leicester  Curzon,  seventh  son  of  Earl  Howe,  was  A.D.C.  to 
Lord  Raglan  in  the  Crimea.  He  was  promoted  to  the  rank  of 
Lieut. -Colonel  on  bringing  home  the  despatch  announcing  the 
capture  of  Sevastopol. 

244 


Malta  and  England 

and  Major  Burke  (Burke  of  Australian  death -memory's1 
brother)  is  also  pleasant  to  know — leastwise  his  sister 
is.  And  there  is  an  Armenian  traveller  in  the  hotel ; 
and  I  draw  constantly  on  the  Barracca  point — meaning 
to  paint  a  picture  thereof  one  day  ;  and  I  wander  up 
and  down  the  beautiful  streets  of  Valetta  and  Senglea  ; 
and  rejoice  in  the  delightful  heat  and  the  blue  sky  ; 
and  watch  the  thousand  little  boats  skimming  across 
the  harbour  at  sunset,  and  admire  the  activity  and 
industry  of  the  Maltese  ;  and  am  amazed  that  their 
priests  should  consider  that  a  constant  ringing  of  bells 
should  be  any  sort  of  pleasure  to  the  Deity  ; — and  I 
drink  very  admirable  small  beer  plenteously  from 
pewter  pipkinious  pots :  and  I  have  gone  to  church 
once,  and  have  heard — or  rather  couldn't  hear — a  40 
minute  sermon  from  a  detestable  shrugging  and  howl- 
ing impostor  ;  and  on  the  whole  I  may  say  with  truth 
I  am  far  happier  than  I  might  be  or  probably  should 
be  if  still  at  sea.  Remains  the  future  ;  3  days  and  3 
nights  to  Marseilles,  and  the  long  20  hours  of  rail  to 
Paris, — and  thence  to  Dieppe  and  Newhaven — and 
the  ojous  unpacking  of  boxes — whether  to  be  well  or 
ill  accomplished  is  in  the  buzzim  of  the  fewcher.  .  .  . 
What  a  fuss  I  see  in  the  papers  about  Woolner  and 
Palgrave  and  J.  Omnium ! 2  .  .  .  Says  I  to  myself  I 

1  R.  O.  Burke,  who  set  out  from  Melbourne  in  1860  at  the  head 
of  an  expedition.     He  succeeded  in  crossing  the  continent  of 
Australia,  but  on  the  return  journey  was  starved  to  death  in 
June,  1861. 

2  A  violent  correspondence  in  the  Times  about  the  Art  Hand- 
book of  the  International  Exhibition,  by  F.  T.  Palgrave,  in  which 

245 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

don't  want  no  public  praise  nor  blame  nor  nuffin  :  life 
is  too  short  for  such  a  lot  of  ugly  anger. 


General  appearance  of  a  distinguished  Landscape 
painter  at  Malta — his  hair  having  taken  to  a  violent 
excess  of  growth  of  late. 

LEWES.    5  June  1862. 

DEAR  4OSCUE.  I  got  here  last  night,  having  left 
Malta  on  Saturday  May  31 — I  shall  come  to  Stratford 
Place  on  Saturday  the  7th.  ...  A  monetary  crisis  has 
ensewed  :  inasmuch  as  I  lost  £j  on  board  the  steamer, 
and  when  I  got  to  Newhaven  had  only  one  shilling 
left,  whereby  a  cousin  of  Cornwall  Simeon's — one 
Major  Webber  Smith — lent  me  too  pouns.  .  .  .  But 

he  expressed  his  individual  opinions  very  freely.  His  excessive 
praise  of  Thomas  Woolner,  the  sculptor,  was  attacked  on  the 
grounds  that  they  were  close  personal  friends.  His  criticisms 
made  the  exhibitors  so  angry  that  he  finally  withdrew  his  hand- 
book, to  the  great  relief  of  the  Committee  of  the  Exhibition. 

246 


Malta  and  England 

your  Irish  "Agrarian  murders"  J  are  what  worry  me 
more  than  anything  just  now,  tho'  I  do  not  know  that 
you  and  your  brother  are  in  anywise  endangered. 

In  September,  1862,  Fortescue's  engagement 
to  Lady  Waldegrave  took  place,  but  it  was 
received  with  some  opposition  on  the  part  of 
certain  members  of  his  family.  The  announce- 
ment was  not  made  for  some  little  time,  but 
he  wrote  to  Lear  the  very  next  day  as 
follows : — 

Fortescue  to  Lear. 

DUDBROOK, 

19.  Sept.  1862. 

You  have  the  advantage  of  hearing  today  from 
the  happiest  man  in  Her  Majesty's  Dominions, 
including  Heligoland  and  all  the  Colonies.  Be  it 
known  unto  you,  oh  friend,  that  I  have  acted  upon 
G.  Vernon's  advice,  except  that  I  found  it  easier 
to  ask  the  question  on  which  my  fate  depended  by 
writing  than  by  speaking — so  wrote  before  I  left 
Red  House,  and  asked  leave  to  come  for  the 
answer.  Yesterday  I  arrived — very  soon  discovered 
that  I  was  the  luckiest  dog  in  the  world,  and  have 
been  half  seas  over  with  happiness  ever  since. 

1  The  year  1862  was  a  time  of  severe  distress  in  Ireland  owing 
to  the  failure  of  the  fuel  and  potato  crops,  and  agitation  against 
the  landlords  was  rife  in  many  parts  of  the  country.  The 
number  of  horrible  murders  and  outrages  that  were  committed 
in  April  and  May,  necessitated  the  holding  of  a  Special  Commis- 
sion to  try  the  cases. 

247 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Lear  to  Fortesciie. 

BURTON  PARK.    PETWORTH. 

21  September  1862. 

I  am  not  surprised,  but  am  at  least  easy  on  your 
account.  I  felt  indeed  quite  as  sure  of  what  the 
issue  would  be  as  one  could  be  of  anything  mortal.  .  . 

I  will  take  care  to  be  silent  about  the  subject.  It  is, 
however,  very  much  talked  of  by  those  who  know 
the  "parties" — and  I,  as  a  friend  of  one,  am  probed 
and  pumped.  My  reply  has  been  all  along — "my 
own  impression  is  that  she  is  more  likely  to  marry 
C.  F.  than  the  D.  of  Newcastle]  " — but  no  more. 

What  an  odd  thing  it  is  that  you  are  officially  acting 
under  him.1.  .  .  Well,  you  know  better  than  I  can 
tell  you  how  pleased  I  am,  and  how  much  happiness 
I  wish  you.  If  you  think  proper  you  may  give  my 
love  to  the  Lady ;  but  anyhow  my  very  kindest 
regards.  .  .  . 

In  the  lanes  and  hedges  here  Bishops  are  frequent — 
Oxford,  Cape  Town — and  the  deuce  knows  what. 

SUSSEX  HOTEL,  EASTBOURNE, 

October  yd,  1862. 

I  am  here — working  out  Henry  Riversdale  Grenfell2 
M.P.'s  picture.  The  "Beachy  Head"  is  a  vastly  fine 
subject,  though  it  is  painful  to  walk  5  miles  over 

1  The  Duke  of    Newcastle  was  Secretary  of    State  for  the 
Colonies. 

2  Another  of  Lear's  friends  and  patrons,  Member  for  Stoke- 
upon-Trent.     Afterwards  a  governor  of  the  Bank  of  England. 
One  of  Fortescue's  greatest  friends. 

248 


Malta  and  England 

loose  stones  to  get  at  it.  There  are  however  two 
alternatives.  i.  to  walk  through  the  water  ankle 
deep,  amid  limpets  &  periwinkles — which  scheme 
I  tried  once,  but  did  not  wholly  like — 2ly.  to  climb 
for  one  hour  to  the  top  of  the  Beachy  Head  &  return  by 
the  Downs — a  scheme  I  also  once  carried  through, 
and  my  trouble  was  so  far  rewarded  that  I  made  a 
sketch  at  the  top,  a  fatty  man  in  black  standing  on  the 
horizon's  edge  serving  as  a  "figure"  in  my  drawing. 
Bye  &  bye  the  fatty  man  drew  near,  &  admired 
my  work — suggesting  that  I  had  possibly  been 
abroad,  &  asking  me  if  I  had  read  Mr.  Lear's 
Albanian  travels ;  and  on  my  saying  yes,  declared 
himself  to  be  Sir  Walter  James's  Butler,  &  that  he 
had  seen  me  in  Whitehall  Gardens,  &  concluded  by 
offering  me  some  porter  &  bread  &  cheese ;  whereon 
I  adjourned  to  the  place  he  &  his  wife  had  selected, 
&  enjoyed  this  improvised  picnic  very  considerably. 
As  you  observe  (not  injudiciously)  I  am  always  finding 
acquaintances  and  friends  a-doing  me  good. 

Write  soon.  Now  that  the  big  event  of  your  life 
is  decided,  I  can  fancy  you  say — what  is  there  to  write 
about  ?  Write  upon  prawns,  rheumatism,  Armstrong 
guns,  Birds  of  Paradise  or  raspberry  jam, — so  you 
write. 

HASTINGS. 

$th  October,  1862. 

What  to  do  with  the  Cedars  I  do  not  know : 
probably  make  a  great  coat  of  them.  To  a  philo- 
sopher, the  fate  of  a  picture  so  well  thought  of  and 

249 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

containing  such  high  qualities,  is  funny  enough : — for 
the  act  of  two  Royal  Academicians  in  hanging  it 
high,1  condemn  it  first, — and  2ndly  the  coldblooded 
criticism  of  Tom  Taylor  in  the  "  Times,"  quasi- 
approving  of  its  position,  stamps  the  poor  canvass 
into  oblivion  still  more,  without  remedy.  .  .  . 

15,  STRATFORD  PLACE,  OXFORD  ST. 

17,  Oct.  1862. 

Your  party  at  Dudbrook  seems  a  pleasant  one — 
bar  the  Royalties,  which  are  always  a  bore  to  me 
more  or  less.  ...  I  daresay  it  seems  odd  to  you, 
but  it  is  a  part  of  my  nature  to  grow  tired  of  the 
"  flaner  "  life  very  soon.  Three  days  of  it  weary  me  : 
on  the  fourth,  the  senseless  chick-chack  of  billiard 
balls  makes  me  sick.  The  beaver,  the  Ant,  the  Bee, 
and  suchlike  brutes  are  my  model  communities.  .  .  . 

Apropos  of  Grenfell,  he  has  not  as  yet  distinctly 
pledged  himself  to  bring  in  the  "Total  Extinction 
of  Irishmen  "  Bill,  but  we  have  been  vin  communica- 
tion about  it.  You  would  do  well,  (if  you  have  time) 
to  read  a  letter  signed  "  an  English  R.  Catholic  "  2 
in  today's  "  Times,"  as  also  the  account  of  the  Riots 
at  Birkenhead.3  Punch  should  bring  out  a  portrait  of 

1  At  the  Great  International  Exhibition. 

2  Condemning  Sir  George  Bowyer's  letter  to  the  Times  of 
the  i6th,  in  which  he  practically  upheld  the  conduct  of  the  Irish 
Roman  Catholics  in  the  Popish  riots  in  Hyde  Park. 

3  Some  violent  quasi-religious    riots   took  place  during  this 
month,  not  only  at  Birkenhead  but  also  in  Hyde  Park,  between 
English   Protestants   and  Irish    Roman  Catholics,   the  pretext 
being  the  meetings  of   the  former  to  express  their  sympathy 

250 


Malta  and  England 


old  Wiseman  exhorting  the  dear  children  "in  the 
name  of  him  who  said  '  they  who  use  the  sword 
shall  perish  by  the  sword  '  " — and  in  the  background 
the  Vicar  of  Christ  paying  Lamorciere  and  the  cut- 
throats of  Naples  and  Spoleto. 

The  new  book  by  the  Bishop  of  Natal  *  will  make  an 
awful  fuss  among  the  Pharisees,  and  the  resignation  of 
Mr.  Neville  2  is  a  step  in  the  right  direction.  .  .  . 

Apropos  of  Corfu — don't  expect  you  have  heard  the 
last  about  the  Judgeships  :3  the  Wolffs  said  little  new, 
but  I  hear  from  other  quarters  that  the  manner  of 
removal  has  been  looked  on  as  the  most  insulting 
and  brutal, — tho'  I  do  not  know  if  all  said  about 
the  way  it  was  carried  out  can  be  true — indeed  it 
hardly  seems  possible.  Some  tell  me  that  the  "great 
majority  "  are  pleased,  for,  say  they  "  any  injustice  and 
any  stupidity  on  the  part  of  our  government  is 


with  Garibaldi,  whom  the  Catholics  looked  upon  as  the  emblem 
of  hostility  to  the  Pope. 

1  Parti,  of  "The  Pentateuch  and  Book  of  Joshua  critically 
examined,"  by  Bishop  Colenso,  which  gave  rise  to  such  fierce 
criticism  that  he  was  publicly  excommunicated  in  Maritzburg 
Cathedral  in  1866. 

2  The  Rev.  C.  Nevile  resigned  his  incumbencies  in  the  diocese 
of  Lincoln,  stating  in  a  letter  to  the  Bishop,  that  he  found  it 
quite  impossible  to   subscribe   to    everything  in  the  Book  of 
Common    Prayer  and  the    Thirty-Nine    Articles,  such  as  the 
Athanasian  Creed,  &c. 

3  Corfu  was  seething  with  indignation  at  this  time  over  the 
removal  of  Marcoran  andXidian,the  two  Ionian  members  of  the 
Supreme  Council  of    Justice  by  Sir  Henry  Storks,  a  step  of 
which   Lear  afterwards  acknowledged  the  wisdom. 

251 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

naturally  a   Godsend  and  a  political  capital  to  their 
party." 

I  am  glad  you  have  good  accounts  from  Ireland, 
and  are  happy  yourself.  If  you  can — and  gradually — 
initiate  a  life  of  regular  solid  occupation  and  progress 
— for  your  future  conditions  of  life.  It  will  make  you 
far  happier  in  the  present  and  far  more  so  also  when 
you  look  back  on  that  present  after  it  has  become 
Past, — than  any  amount  of  whizzy  pleasure  can 
ever  do.  Don't  turn  up  your  nose.1  I  am  50  years 
old,  and  see  a  many  men  and  lives,  and  ends  and 
chains  of  lives — which  you  don't  and  didn't  and 
can't.  If  it  pleased  God  to  send  you  twins  I  should 
be  easy. 

TUESDAY,  21  Oct.  1862. 

...  I  still  maintain  that  Blasphemy  and  lying 
are  the  Prerogatives  of  Priestcraft ;  or  they  would  not 
say  that  the  Almighty  damns  the  greater  part  of  his 
creatures.  So  far  I  agree  with  you — that  which  they 
should  preach  (them  there  practical  truths  you  elude 
to)  is  worthy  of  all  love  and  veneration, — but  since 
as  a  body  they  have  ever  given  the  lie  to  such 
preaching  by  their  dogmas  and  lives — cui  bono  the 
preaching?  Whereby — though  I  sincerely  like  and 
respect  many  individually,  I  object  to  the  whole 
biling. 

The  Chancellor2 — (I  was  there  Saturday  and 
Sunday)  was  delightful :  such  an  abundance  of 

1  "  NOTE. — I  was  hard  at  work  at  the  Colonial  Office. — C.  F." 

2  Lord  Westbury  (Sir  Richard  Bethell). 

252 


Malta  and  England 

excellent  conversation  —  with    a    circle    or   with   me 
only  —  one  seldom  has  the  luck  of  getting. 

He  —  Speaking  of  "  undique  sequaces  "  —  "sequax, 
—  and  saying  "let  us  remember  the  line  and  go  and 
look  for  the  translation,"  quoth  the  Landscape  painter 
in  a  fit  of  absurdity, 

"  My  Lord  I  can  remember  it  easily  by  thinking 
of  wild  ducks." 

"  How  of  wild  ducks  Lear?"  said  the  Lord  C.  — 
"  Because  they  are  sea-quacks  "  said  I. 

"Lear,"  said  his  Lordship,  "  I  abominate  the  forcible 
introduction  of  ridiculous  images  calculated  to  distract 
the  mind  from  what  it  is  contemplating." 

The  painter  chuckled  inwardly  —  having  from  before- 
hand calculated  on  the  exact  result  of  his  speech. 

About    Dudbrook  —  oe    ojUtArjo-oj/uev    avpiov, 


October,  1862. 

...  I  have  written  to  Lady  W.  to  say  I  cannot 
come  to  Dudbrook  :  it  is  no  use  trying  on  a  plan 
which  may  —  by  rain  wind  or  cold  —  turn  out  abortive 
—  by  making  me  disagreeable  to  myself  and  my 
fellow  creatures. 

I  have  also  written  to  Lady  W.  to  say,  that  all  things 
considered,  I  give  up  the  Chantilly  :  —  in  November,  in 
Paris,  the  chances  are  quite  against  my  being  able  to 
draw  out  of  doors  at  all.  ...  I  write  also  to  give  up 
the  Prescott's  at  Roehampton  2  from  simmiler  cawziz. 

1  Until  we  meet  to-morrow  to  eat  raw  flesh. 

2  W.  G.  Prescott,  a  wealthy  banker,  of  Clarence  Villa,  Roe- 
hampton, committed  suicide  1865. 

253 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

I  wish  you  would  send  me  one  line,  just  to  say  if  I 
may  send  the  Thermopylae  to  45,  St.  James'  Place. 
I  do  not  see  why  you  should  not  have  the  benefit  of  it 
for  the  2  or  3  months  you  are  there.  Only  don't 
leave  it  on  chairs  or  sofas  or  broomstix :  that 
proceeding  always  warps  and  strains  canvas.  .  .  .  For 


on  going  away,  I  want  to  leave  everything  here  in  a 
pumptiliously  exactual  condition  in  case  of  death  over- 
taking me  abroad  : — and  so  I  clear  my  rooms  as  far  as 
I  can. 

Lady  Waldegrave  to  Lear. 

DUDBROOK, 

Oct.  26th. 

...  I  will  postpone  the  Chantilly  commission  to 
another  year,  but  I  will  go  to  you  on  Monday  the  $rd 
of  November  before  one  o'clock,  to  see  if  I  can  find 
any  small  picture  which  would  suit  the  Duke 

254 


Malta  and  England 

d'Aumale.1     I  will  tell  you  de  vive  voix,  that  I   am 
quite  as  happy  as  another  of  your  warm  friends. 

Lear  to  Lady  Waldegrave. 

4/&  November,  1862, 

15,  STRATFORD  PLACE. 

.  .  .Admiral  Robinson  2  who  came  when  I  was  out, 
— (he  is  a  really  good  draughtsman  himself,)  says  he 
thinks  4oscue's  Thermopylae  the  best  picture  he  has 
seen  of  Greece  or  any  other  place.  .  .  . 

Many  thanks  for  your  kind  wishes.  It  is  not  pro- 
bable however  that  my  Ashmer  will  decrease,  but 
rather  the  contrary  until  I  go  out  with  a  puff. 

I  went  into  the  city  today,  to  put  the  ^125  I  got 
for  the  "  Book  of  Nonsense  "  into  the  funds.  It  is 
doubtless  a  very  unusual  thing  for  an  artist  to  put  by 
money,  for  the  whole  way  from  Temple  Bar  to  the 
Bank  was  crowded  with  carriages  and  people, — so 
immense  a  sensation  did  this  occurrence  make.  And 
all  the  way  back  it  was  the  same,  which  was  very 
gratifying. 

x  The  fourth  son  of  Louis  Philippe,  resident  at  Orleans  House, 
Twickenham.  He  retired  to  England  after  the  Revolution  of 
1848. 

3  Admiral  Spencer  Robinson,  at  this  time  Controller  of  the 
Navy.  Afterward  Sir  Spencer  Robinson. 


255 


CHAPTER   X 

November,  1862,  to  March,  1863 

CORFU 
Lear  to  Fortescue 

Kao-o  TlapafjivSioTTi  :  TO. 


30  Nov.,  1862. 

I  ONLY  got  your  ancient  and  fishlike  letter  dated 
loth  inst.  3  days  ago,  I  myself  having  only 
arrived  here  on  the  23rd.  ...  I  didn't  "go  pretty 
straight  to  Corfu  "  —  au  contraire,  the  road  being 
broken  up  by  torrents  near  Nice,  I  was  obliged  to 
go  in  a  steamer  to  Genoa.  (There  was  such  a  fat 
Cardinal  on  board,  and  didn't  I  get  likenesses  of  him 
under  the  table  !)  Then  I  went  to  Ancona,  but  the 
Italian  boats  were  postponed  for  a  month,  and  so  I 
had  to  wait  for  the  small  Trieste  boat,  which,  coming, 
could  not  start  for  bad  weather.  .  .  . 

The  interregnum  of  five  days  at  nasty  Ancona,  was 
however,  it  behoves  me  to  confess,  made  agreeable  by 
the  company  of  a  really  delightful  party  of  officers,  of 
which  Gen1.  Casanova  who  took  the  city  with  Cialdini 

1  Casa  Paramuthiati,  The  Fort,  Corfu. 
256 


Corfu 

and  Fanti I  was  head.  The  progress  which  all  Italy 
is  making  astonishes  even  me,  and  I  am  often  more 
and  more  confirmed  in  my  opinion  that  L[ouis] 
N[apoleon]  is  right  in  keeping  his  troops  at  Rome.  If 
you  have  a  bad  sore,  needs  must  be  that  the  body  is 
more  regularly  ordered  to  keep  it  in  health ;  and  the 
general  organization  of  the  peninsula  goes  on  so 
a  head,  that  the  swallowing  up  of  the  papal  power  is, 
so  it  seems  to  me,  only  a  question  of  more  or  fewer 
years.  At  Ancona,  too,  the  De  Vere's  arrived — on 
their  way  to  Corfu.  (He  is  a  nephew  of  Ld.  Mont- 
eagle's2 — she  a  sister  of  Burke  the  Australian 
explorer)  and  this  was  a  blessing — as  they  are  the 
people  I  know  here  now  most  intimately.  I  never 
saw  a  face  of  more  mental  health  and  beauty — as  well 
as  brightness  though  not  perfectly  regular  features  than 
hers — and  little  Mary  De  Vere  was  a  real  Godsend  to 
us  all  on  board — with  her  merriment  and  prattle.  .  .  . 
I  have  also  been  going  on  with  my  long  projected 
illustrations  of  Tennyson.  .  .  . 

I  can't  write  consecutively  for  phits  of  coffin.  .  .  . 

A  new  General — Sir  R.  Garrett  3 — replaces  Sir  J. 
Inglis  :  he  looks  above  4,000  years  old,  tho'  perhaps 
is  not.  Woodcox  are  expensive  at  present.  In 
Cephalonia  I  hear  that  the  sun  of  Xidian — one  of  the 
removed  Judges — is  elected  by  a  great  majority  over 

1  Ancona  was  taken  in  1860. 

a  Lord  Monteagle's  only  sister  Mary  married  Sir  Aubrey  de 
Vere. 
3  He  commanded  the  4th  Division  before  Sevastopol. 

257  § 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

the  Government  candidate.  The  whole  thing  is 
simply  considered  a  clever  intrigue  on  the  part  of 
Braila  and  Damaschino — forced  upon  Storx  in  a 
Gladstonian  sense  (G.  corresponds  with  the  Brailas).1 
And  thus  no  one  cares  for  it  much,  except  that  all 
parties  seem  to  consider  the  manner  of  the  act  wholly 
unjustifiable.  Poor  old  Sir  George  Marcoran  bears  it 
very  well  and  with  dignity  :  nevertheless  to  some 
friends  he  said,  with  tears  in  his  eyes — "  I  do  not  say 
— replace  me.  I  only  ask  for  one  valid  reason  for  so 
gross  a  torto  being  used  to  an  old  public  servant  in 
whom  no  fault  is  named."  But  as  I  said — every  mind 
just  now  is  full  of  the  Greek  affair.  .  .  .  Sometimes 
I  think  the  titles  here  are  really  very  absurd  : — take 
a  list — 

Sir  Henry  Storks 

Sir  Robert  Garrett 

Sir  Henry  and  Lady  Wolff 

Sir  Patrick  and  Lady  Colquhoun 

Sir  Charles  and  Lady  Sargent 

Sir  Gregory  and  Lady  Caruso 

Sir  Philotheos  and  Lady  Damaschino 

Sir  Themistocles  and  Lady  Zambelli 

Sir  Aristides  and  Lady  Braila 

Sir  Demetrius  and  Lady  Valsimachi 

Sir  Demetrius  and  Lady  Curcumell 

Sir  Plato  and  Lady  Platides 

1  Braila  was  the  secretary  to  the  Senate  at  the  time  of  Mr. 
Gladstone's  visit,  and  a  supporter  of  British  interests. 

258 


Corfu 

Sir  Karalambos  and  Lady  Flamburiani, 
Sir   Christopheros   and    Lady    Kalikopolos   Biletti 
Bizi. 

after  which  last  nothing  but  Sir  Agrios  and  Lady 
Polugorill6foros  is  to  be  expected.  But  this  same  list 
sets  forth  a  love  of  title  in  these  people — which  indeed 
they  are  vain.  .  .  . 

.  .  .  Bye  and  bye  I  am  going  to  ask  you  a  quaps- 
fillious  question  :  I  mean  to  have  the  Cedars  put  into 
the  ground  floor  room  of  15  Stratford  Place,  and  if  so, 
do  you  think  Lord  Lansdowne  might  be  asked  to  go 
and  see  it — i.e.  if  you  or  someone  could  go  with  him 
— and  so  that  he  could  not  speak  of  it  to  any  R. 
Academician  first, — or  they  would — not  content  with 
having  placed  it  so  ill — prevent  his  buying  it.  The 
only  drawback  might  be  that  the  foolish  landscape- 
painters  Creswick  and  Redgrave  might  bust  of  rage 
which  I  should  be  sorry  for — brutes. 

All  Greece  seems  voting  for  AX^t'So?  x — and  could 
that  happen — the  very  best  salve  and  guarantee  for 
future  peace  and  former  ills  would  happen  :  but  I 
fear  it  can't.  Only  I  suggest — let  Prince  Alfred  rush 
here  and  be  suddenly  crowned — (Your  Government 

1  In  October  the  whole  of  Greece  rose  in  rebellion  and 
deposed  their  incompetent  German  King  Otho.  Prince  Alfred  of 
England  was  chosen  as  their  new  sovereign  by  an  overwhelming 
majority,  but  international  reasons  prevented  his  acceptance  of 
the  dignity.  The  choice  then  fell  upon  a  Prince  of  Denmark, 
brother  of  our  present  Queen.  It  was  at  this  time  that  pro- 
posals were  first  definitely  made  for  the  cession  of  the  Ionian 
Isles  to  Greece. 

259 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

disowning  it  like  the  Nice  and  Savoy  affair)  and  who 
can  alter  it  ?  Thereafter  too,  guarantees  might  then 
be  guv  to  Turkey  for  behaviour,  etc  :  I  half  suspect  it 
will  end  so. 

Of  society — more  another  thyme.  Of  balls — of 
moons — of  fish  and  other  vegetables — and  of  all  future 
and  past  events  as  things  may  be.  I  have  got  a 
piano.  Also  a  carpet.  Also  a  tame  redbreast :  also 
a  hearthrug  and  two  doormats.  . 

Dec.  i.  ...  Here  is  a  letter  from  Mrs.  Clive : 
G.  C.1  has  resigned — and  H.  A.  Bruce2  is  in  his 
place.  I  hope  B.'s  health  will  serve  him.  Here  we 
hear,  that  should  P.  Alfred  finally  be  elected,  and  then 
be  refused  by  England — Gladstone  is  likely  to  be  the 
next  favourite  ! ! ! !  Fancy  Mrs.  G.  Queen  of  Greece  ! 

I  shall  write  to  Mr.  G.  and  ask  him  to  make  me 
P/owroe  Z(irypa0oe,3  and  Grand  Peripatetic  Ass  and 
Boshproducing  Luminary— forthwith. 

Lear  to  Lady  Waldegrave. 

CORFU.    January  i,  1863. 

Do  you  know  anything  of  a  young  man  called 
Chichester  Fortescue  ?  I  wrote  to  him  a  month  ago, 
but  have  heard  nothing  of  him  at  all  at  all,  and  my 
belief  is  that  he  is  either  full  of  business,  or  over  head 
and  ears  in  love, — possibly  both.  If  you  should 
happen  to  meet  him,  please  tell  him  to  send  me  a  line 

1  George    Clive,    Under-Secretary   of    State  for   the    Home 
Department,  resigned  in  November,  on  account  of  his  health. 

2  Henry  Austin  Bruce,  created  Baron  Aberdare,  1873. 

3  Painter  Laureate. 

260 


Corfu 

some  day — and  you  can  also  wish  him  a  happy  new 
year  from  me.  I  write  this  more  particularly  to  wish 
you  the  same — and  that  this  may  be  the  forerunner  of 
many  such.  And  for  my  own  part  I  think  you  have 
a  great  and  goodly  prospect  of  happiness,  please  God 
that  C.  F.  and  yourself  have  good  health  :  for  I  have 
never  known  anyone  with  more  qualities  to  ensure 
happiness  in  his  companions  than  Fortescue,  I  am, 
however,  getting  anxious  to  know  when  events  are  to 
come  to  pass,  which  news  I  suppose  patience  will  tell 
me  if  I  wait  long  enough. 

I  should  like  to  hear  how  the  Duke  D'Aumale  liked 
the  little  picture  of  Philse.  For  the  present  I  have 
done  with  oil-painting  and  have  collapsed  into  degra- 
dation and  small  loand  12  guinea  drawings  calculated 
to  attract  the  attention  of  small  capitalists.  ...  I  have 
very  little  to  grumble  at,  saving  that  I  grow  so  fat, 
which  is  horrible  to  think  of  and  makes  me  miserable. 

nth  January.  The  pighearted  has  written.  And 
I  have  just  been  writing  a  long  letter  to  him.  He 
writes  a  capital  letter,  full  of  substance.  His  strong 
feeling  for  poetry,  his  natural  good  taste,  his  classical 
knowledge  and  wide  reading  are  all  portions  of  his 
character  vastly  interesting.  But  I  am  disposed  to 
think  that  by  constant  attention  he  may  also  eventually 
attain  a  very  high  position  as  a  Minister.  As  a 
speaker — (tho1  I  never  heard  him)  I  do  not  imagine 
he  would  ever  be  in  the  first  ranks — but  as  a  thinker, 
I  believe  he  will.  All  that  is  going  on  now  about 
Greece  is  immensely  interesting  to  me  ;  and  if  there 

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Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

were  a  fixed  and  good  government  at  Athens,  I 
should  probably  ultimately  live  there  entirely  :— winter 
in  England  never  more  I  shall,  and  the  double  journey 
is  getting  too  onerous  for  so  old  a  cove  as  I  am 
becoming.  I  wish  that  you  and  F.  would  come  out 
here  for  a  few  weeks  :  it  would  greatly  delight  you, 
and  in  April  would  be  charming.  In  midwinter  the 
weather  is  too  uncertain  to  allow  the  chance  of  a  fort- 
night's visit — nay,  or  a  month's — being  satisfactory, 
for  it  rains  poodles  and  pineapples  at  times. 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

CORFU,  nth  January,  1863. 

O  my  eyes  and  little  convolvuluses!  If  here  isn't 
a  letter  sent  by  the  Lord  High  a  come  from  you, 
(a  ninvitation  to  dinner  following). 

My  dear  Fortescue, — I  didn't  write  before,  know- 
ing how  busy  you  must  be,  but  I  began  to  be  in  a 
fidget  about  the  Irish  side  of  the  question,  nor  until 
Mrs.  R[uxton]  has  seen  Lady  W[aldegrave]  shall  I 
be  quite  easy — unless  indeed  the  Aunt  perceives  by 
your  altered  health  and  manner  that  such  improve- 
ment can  only  be  caused  by  happiness.  .  .  .  Your 
6  pages  are  all  very  nice — and  I  will  just  glance 
them  over,  and  then,  as  Craven  said  in  his  sermon 
just  now  "proceed  to  continue  to  state  to  improve" — 
(Should  not — in  a  parenthesis — impudence  and  igno- 
rance be  represented  in  white  ties  ?  Why  should 
Craven — preaching  from  a  text  about  Moses,  "your 
sins  will  find  you  out " — declare  that  not  taking  the 

262 


Corfu 

Holy  Sacrament  would  certainly  make  a  man  miser- 
able here,  and  probably  hereafter  ?  Yet  poor  Craven, 
though  a  sad  goose  is  a  good  and  laborious  man : — 
which  his  wife  resembles  the  mother  of  the  Milky 
herd  and  produces  an  ecclesiastical  baby  regularly 
every  ten  months.  I  shall  ask  him  to  dine  with  me 
on  Thursday  next.) 

To  return  to  your  letter.  I  can  quite  fancy  the 
library  at  Strawberry  Hill  under  the  circumstances  : 
I  wonder  if  that  glass  globe  stays  out  all  the  winter J  : 
if  ever  I  grow  childish  or  insane  I  shall  ask  Lady  W. 
to  let  me  have  that  globe  to  play  with,  for  never  any 
fool  was  more  taken  with  an  object.  Bye  the  bye — 
talking  of  fools — there  is  an  old  man  here  partly  so 
by  nature — partly  by  drink — a  seafaring  man  who  has 
formerly  been  in  the  Balearic  Isles.  He  has  taken 
a  kind  of  monomaniac  fancy  to  my  Nonsense  Book, 
and  declares  that  he  knew  personally  the  Aunt  of  the 
Girl  of  Majorca  ! !  I  hear  it  is  more  than  humanity 
can  bear  to  hear  him  point  out  how  exactly  like  she  is 
— and  how  she  used  to  jump  the  walls  in  Majorca 
with  flying  leaps !!!!!!  Bother  this  letter  it  won't  go 
on  straight. 

There  was  a  young  girl  of  Majorca, 
Whose  aunt  was  a  very  fast  walker, 

She  walked  seventy  miles, 

And  leaped  fifteen  stiles, 
Which  astonished  that  girl  of  Majorca. 


1  A  silvered  glass  globe  on  a  pedestal  in  the  garden,  which 
specially  attracted  the  admiration  of  Mr.  Lear. 

263 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 


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264 


Corfu 

You  vast  owly  Mortle  !  Why  haven't  you  said  on 
what  day  the  marriage  of  yourself  and  Lady  W.  is 
to  be.  Confound  it, — nor  where  it  is  to  take  place. 
I  guess — Twickenham  or  Brompton.  By  what  you 
write  it  seems  to  me  you  have  announced  it  yourself 
to  dear  old  Mrs.  Ruxton — or  she  has  seen  it  in  print. 
Do  tell  me,  when  you  have  been  to  Red  House,  how 
she  takes  it.  ... 

Your  remark  "  prayed  at  "  reminds  me  of  an  angry 
governess,  to  whom,  being  a  R.C.  a  violent  Pro- 
testant lady  said — "  The  God  of  Mercy  turn  your 
heart !  I  pray  for  you  morning  noon  and  night !  " — 
"  Croyez  vous  done,  Madame,"  said  the  governess — 
"que  ce  grand  bon  Dieu  n'a  pas  quoi  s'occuper,  qu'il 
doit  e"couter  vos  betises  meme  trois  fois  par  jour? 
Allez  done !  je  vous  prie  de  ne  lui  pas  fatiguer  plus 
pour  moi !  " 

I  can  fancy  the  Russ's1  sensations.  I  think  he 
will  have  photographs  of  you  all  over  the  house, 
busts  on  the  bannisters,  and  a  statue  on  the  door- 
steps. .  .  .  The  reason  of  servants  being  unsatisfac- 
tory 9  times  out  of  10  is  that  their  hirers  consider 
them  as  chairs  or  tables — and  take  no  interest  in 
them  as  human  beings.  Your  lady  knows  that  well 
enough,  for  she  is  kind  to  them  individually.  For 
myself,  the  only  three  I  ever  had,  Hansen,  Giorgio 
and  T.  Cooper,  would  all  do  anything  to  oblige  me — 
and  I  don't  believe  that  is  chance — but  the  effect  of 

1  Fortescue's  landlord  in  St.  James's  Place,  where  F.  had  lived 
for  many  years. 

265 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

caring  for  them  in  some  way  to  improve  them  or  their 
families.  .  .  . 

.  .  .  Concerning  the  concession  of  the  Isles — I  do 
not  see  that  it  could  be  done  till  there  be  a  certainty 
of  a  solid  and  strong  government  in  Greece — which 
amounts  to  saying  it  can't  be  done  now.  Yet  it  seems 
to  me,  that  could  the  English  Government  get  the 
other  powers  to  agree  that  such  definite  arrangement 
should  be  made  whenever  the  proper  time  arrives, — 
a  positive  statement  of  this  sort  may  do  much  to 
make  governing  here  more  easy, — the  principal  cause 
of  their  botheration  being  thus  removed.  Surely  they 
might  govern  them  without  a  parliament  here  at  all, 
on  the  grounds  that  the  fate  of  the  Islands  would  be 
settled — and  only  a  question  of  time  as  to  when 
carried  to  an  ultimatum  or  rlXoc.  Wolff  is  not  yet 
come.  Me  0da>£rat,i  a  secretary  who  is  away  9  months 
out  of  12  is  a  not  very  requisite  functionary.  In  fact 
Storx  is  more  a  ruler  than  any  I  have  known  here, — 
and  the  manner  of  the  judges  dismissal  is,  as  far  as 
I  can  see,  the  only  error  of  his  sway  of  3  or  4  years. 
I  hope  to  goodness  your  ministry  won't  be  turned 
out :  but  I  have  "  reason  to  think  "  that  a  big  man  in 
the  Upper  House  has  been  getting  at  any  kind  of 
information  about  that  Judge  affair.  Possibly  your 
reverence  may  remember  that  Talbot2  was  governor 
of  Cephalonia  for  a  time,  verbum  sap. 

1  It  appears  to  me. 

*  Colonel  Talbot  was  private  secretary  to  the  Earl  of  Derby 
when  he  was  Prime  Minister  in  1852. 

266 


Corfu 

...  1  rejoice  to  state  that  these  views  I  am 
doing — 10  and  12  guinea  ones — seem  much  liked, 
and  that  the  young  Duke  of  St.  Albans1  bought 
5  a  few  days  ago.  Nevertheless,  reddy  tin  is  scarce, 
and  bills  abound.  .  .  .  Nonsense  issues  from  me  at 
times — to  make  a  new  book  next  year.  The  weather 
is  at  present  lovely  and  the  views  over  the  harbour 
are  of  the  most  clipfombious  and  ompsiquillious 
nature.  .  .  .  Here's  somebod  a  nokking  at  the  dolor- 
ous door.  I  must  stop. 

February  ist,  1863. 

On  the  3oth  ult.  (which  don't  mean  ultramarine  but 
ultimo)  came  yours  of  the  igth.  ...  I  have  since 
read  that  the  marriage  did  take  place,2  and  Sir 
H.  Storks,  whom  I  me  tout  walking  yesterday,  said, 
"  if  he  is  as  happy  as  his  friends  wish  him,  he  will  be 
extremely  so."  Being  a  Lord  High  Commissioner, 
I  did  not  slap  him  on  the  shoulder  and  say  "  Well 
done !  old  cove  !  "  tho'  I  wished  to  do  so.  I  suppose 
you  to  be  walking  about  on  your  head,  or  at  least 
turning  over  and  over  starfish  fashion.  Some  ill- 
natured  ass  put  that  account  of  the  marriage  into  my 
paper — the  "  Daily  Telegraph  " — in  order  that  it 
might  be  followed  by  "  Blue  Mantle's  "  letter  next 
day  on  keeping  or  changing  names.  3  When  did 

1  The  tenth  Duke. 

2  On  the  2oth  of  January,  1863,  at  Old  Brompton  Church, 
only  relations  and  connections  being  invited  to  the  wedding. 

3  Referring  to    a    letter  in    the    paper    objecting  to  Lady 
Waldegrave  still  calling  herself  "  Countess  Waldegrave,"  signed 

267 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Lady  W.  ever  call  herself  Countess  W.  and  not 
Frances  Countess  W.  ?  Or,  if  she  had,  do  not 
the  Duchesses  of  St.  Albans  and  Roxburgh  keep 
their  titles  ?  Not  to  speak  of  Lady  Farquhar  and 
Lady  Pigott,  etc  :  etc  :  It  is  delightful  to  know  that 
Mrs.  Ruxton  is  happy.  Has  Russ  bust  his  heart? 

.  .  .  Meanwhile  my  dear  boy  I  wish  you  and 
"  Mrs.  Fortescue  "  as  the  "  Telegraph  "  will  have 
her  to  be,  every  happiness  and  as  long  a  lease  of  it 
as  may  be.  And  live  as  quietly  as  you  can — rank  and 
position  permitting  ;  for,  as  you  know  I  think, — in 
inward  quietness  lies  greatest  happiness. 

As  for  me,  I  may  say  thankfully  that  no  month  of 
January  in  all  my  life  has  gone  by  so  happily  as  this. 
.  .  .  The  winter  seems  all  gone  for  the  present — 
though  the  Equal-noxious  gales  will  doubtless  come 
in  disgustable  force.  ...  As  far  as  my  wits  go,  it 
seems  to  me  that  the  present  move  is  to  enforce 
public  recognition  of  a  distinct  principle,  viz.  :  that 
when  Greece  is  established,  the  end  of  our  control 
here  is  at  hand.  But  that  it  should  cease  yet — or 
until  a  firm  government  can  be  put  in  our  place, 
seems  to  me  very  improbable.  ...  I  still  lead  the 
same  quiet  life,  dining  at  the  De  Vere's  or  Palace  on 
Sundays,  and  on  Tuesdays  somewhere  or  other  :  one 
or  another  of  the  garrison  officers  dining  with  me  on 

"  Blue  Mantle,"  and  to  which  the  real  "  Blue  Mantle  "  replied, 
showing  that  the  precedent  was  a  perfectly  correct  one.  Lady 
Waldegrave  never  called  herself  anything  but  "Frances 
Countess  Waldegrave." 

268 


Corfu 

Thursdays,  .  .  .  Here  is  the  paradigmatical  illustra- 
tion of  last  Sunday's  dinner.1 


O  child  !  write  !  I  can't  any  more.  (Bye  the  bye  I 
am  glad  to  see  2  letters  in  today's  papers  in  answer 
to  that  ass  "  Bluemantle ").  Nevertheless  give  my 
love  to  "  Mrs.  Fortescue."  I  am  collapsing  with 
laughter  and  must  go  and  bounce  chords  on  the 
Piano. 

8  February,  1863. 

Your  letter  of  the  3<Dth  delighted  me  extremely — 
you  seem  so  thund'ring  happy.  .  .  .  Bother  the 
"  Daily  Telegraph  " — I  see  the  real  "  Blue  Mantle  " 
has  been  writing  in  answer  to  the  malicious  ijot  who 
goes  on  with  his  "Mrs.  C.  S.  F."2  What  delights 
me  as  much  as  anything  is  to  hear  that  you  and  my 
Lady  are  going  to  Red  House  at  Easter.  .  .  . 

I'm  glad  she  makes  you  get  up  early  and  take 
oss  exersize.  The  plan  of  the  12  o'clock  breakfast 

1  On  Mr.  Lear's  right  will  be  noticed  the  name  Evelyn  Baring. 
This  is  the  present  Earl  Cromer.  3  Another  initial  of  Fortescue's 

269 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

seems  good — only  take  some  coffee  early  or  some- 
thing— a  nemptystummuk  is  a  bad  thing.  (Old 
Chevalier  Kestner1  once  said — calling  out  in  the 
street — "  Come  and  breakfast  with  me  tomorrow  ; 
not  a  teapot  but  a  forked  collation.")  I  was  however 
much  amused  when  I  read  that  bit  of  your  letter, 
because  the  evening  before  a  man,  after  growling  at 
all  "  Greeks  "  with  the  contemptuous  annoyance  of  an 
Anglo-Saxon — spoke  as  bitterly  as  he  could  of  a  nice 
young  Englishman — an  officer — married  to  a  really 
nice  Greek'  girl — "he  was  ceasing  to  be  English 
entirely — and  becoming  Greek  altogether."  "  But 
how  "  said  I.  And  after  obliging  my  man  to  confess 

that  Captain was  as  good  tempered,  as  attentive 

to  his  duties — as  fond  of  exercises — as  regular  at 
church,  etc  :  etc  :  etc :  as  before  he  married — he  began 
to  get  cross,  and  at  last  grumbled  out — "  Well  then ! 
I'll  tell  you  what  he  does  !  he  breakfasts  a  lafourchette 
at  ii  or  12 — and  if  you  can  say  a  man  is  an  English- 
man who  does  that — the  devil's  in  it." 

Thank  you  for  sending  the  £66  to  Drummond's : 
I  have  only  got  sixpence  and  2  farthings  left  here  .  .  . 

We  are  all  becoming  convinced  that  we  are 
a-going  to  go — but  when — we  wot  not.  On  Friday, 
perhaps  the  last  ball  guv  by  the  last  Lord  High  came 
off — and  I  ought  to  have  gone  but  didn't.  (Lord! 
how  I  hate  the  bustle  and  lights  and  fuss  of 
"society" — social  in  reality  as  is  my  nature — not 

1  A  well-known  figure  in  Roman  society  of  the  forties  and 
fifties. 

270 


Corfu 

gregarious.  Geese,  swine,  gnats,  etc.,  are  gregarious). 
Have  you  heard  anything  of  Bowen  of  late  ?  It  is 
reported  here  that  he  and  Lady  B.  have  parted  .  .  . 
it  is  said  the  Queensland  papers  were  full  of  it — yet 
here  one  never  knows  what  to  believe. 

I  see  you  are  going  to  have  a  Royal  Academy 
Commission  :  it  will  do  nothing  at  all  I  fear.  I  wish 
the  whole  thing  were  abolished — for  as  it  is  now  it  is 
disgraceful.  30  men  self-declared  as  the  30  greatest 
painters  of  England — yet  having  in  their  body — 
Witheringtons — Frosts — Coopers — C.  Landseers — 
and  other  unheard  of  nonentities,  while  Watts — 
Linnel  —  Hunt  —  Maddox  Brown  —  Anthony — and 
many  more  are  condemned  to  official  extinction.  My 
sister  Ellinor  writes  :  "  One  of  my  eldest  brother's 
sons  has  been  badly  wounded  in  the  last  battle." 

My  watercolour  drawings  are  all  done  but  two — a 
really  remarkable  spot  of  energy :  tho',  by 
reason  of  sitting  still  and  poking  to  see 
them — my  neck  has  grown  longer  and 
my  body  fatter,  and  I  am  like  to  this — 

.  .  .  My  plans  are  still  unsettled  ...  I  think  I 
shall  pantechnichize  for  a  good  long  time — and  go 
about  wandering  as  it  were  like  a  tailless  baboon. 
Athens  does  not  appear  to  me  to  be  a  bad  place  to 
stick  in  ...  I  can't  tell  yet — but  I  think  this  year 
will  see  a  change  in  my  life,  if  so  be  I  live — for  I 
don't  look  to  do  that  very  long  ...  I  wish  you  both 
as  much  happiness  as  you  can  gobble,  and  am  greatly 
rejoiced  at  your  condition. 

271 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Yours  absquoxiously  and  full  of  blomphious  and 
umpsidixious  congratulations. 

EDWARD  LEAR. 

February  qth.  Today's  mail  has  brought  me  no 
letters — and  only  a  single  paper.  But  that  tells  me 
of  Lord  Lansdowne's1  death — a  great  loss  to  many, 
and  a  lesson  in  life,  for  he  was  a  truly  noble  good  fine 
man.  Yet  at  82 — and  with  so  good  and  long  a  life — 
his  death  seems  to  come  all-expected.  Not  so  what 
the  same  newspaper  also  tells  me — of  the  death  of 
poor  William  Harcourt's2  wife! — what  a  dreadful 
blank  and  blow  for  him !  It  seems  but  the  other  day 
I  met  her  in  Pall  Mall,  so  gay — just  going  to  church  ! 

Yesterday — after  I  wrote  the  first  part  of  this  letter, 
Wolff  and  Sargent  called,  and  the  amount  of  question- 
ing and  pumping  was  fearful — but  I  withstood  all. 
Howbeit  I  have  my  own  ideas  of  good-breeding.  A 
German  Count  who  was  here  last  year  said  "  I  take 
one  walk  with  Sir  C.  Sargent  and  Mr.  Wolff — and 
when  I  come  back  I  feel  no  more  one  man,  but  one 
catechism  book  that  all  may  ask  questions  out  from." 
In  the  evening  I  dined  at  the  Wolff's.  Lady  W.  has 
some  of  the  delicate,  intangible,  not  to  be  expressed, 
refined  qualities  of  woman — in  as  great  a  degree  as 
I  ever  knew  in  any  female.  She  is,  in  somma,  a 
talented  Italian — with  a  great  dash  of  English  firm 

1  The  third  Marquis,  who  was  offered  the  Premiership  in  1852. 

2  Afterwards  Sir  William  Harcourt.     He  married  in   1859 
Miss  Lister,  a  daughter  of  the  well-known  Lady  Theresa  Lewis 
by  her  first  marriage,  with  Mr.  Lister. 

272 


Corfu 

good  sense.  This  evening  I  had  hoped  for  quiet,  but 
there  came  "  Masks "  and  bored  me  to  death,  and 
later  a  heap  of  people.  Bother,  said  I,  and  came 
away. 

22nd  February  1863 

...  I  should  certainly  like  to  have  a  peep  at  you 
and  Lady  Waldegrave  in  Carlton  Gardens — where 
Wolff  tells  me  he  sees  in  the  papers  you  are  gone. 
...  I  am  again  writing  at  10.30  p.m.  after  a  very 
pleasant  dinner — at  all  events  a  good  one — at  the 
Lord  High's — who — as  I  left  the  room,  said  "if  you 
write  to  Fortescue,  give  him  my  kind  remembrances." 
But  of  the  day — and  of  the  weeks  bygone,  and  of 
many  other  things — this  deponent  saith  nil,  whereby 
and  forwhy  he  is  going  to  bed. 

March  i. 

About  the  2oth  I  finished  the  last  of  60  drawings — 
all  of  i  o  or  12  guineas  each  in  price — and  last  week 
the  frames  came,  and  then,  after  two  days'  insertion 
of  the  drawings,  measuring  and  nail  knocking,  I  have 
made  a  really  remarkable  gallery  of  water  colour 
works.  This  next  week  I  have  to  ask  some  70  or  80 
sets  of  people  to  see  this  same  gallery — but  I  doubt 
my  success  in  selling  the  drawings.  Cheap  photo- 
graphs are  the  order  of  the  day  now.  .  .  .  Among 
those  who  most  enjoy  seeing  what  I  have  done,  Sir 
H.  Storks  is  eminent.  His  delight  in  looking  over 
the  drawings  was  very  marked — and  at  once  he 
bought  one  of  Jerusalem  and  one  of  Corfu.  Lady 

273  T 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Wolff  also  examines  everything  minutely  and  with 
an  eye  evidently  used  to  look  at  nature  heartily. 
Others  will  irritate  me — Sir  C.  Sargent  to  wit — who 
saw  all  60  drawings  in  19  minutes,  calling  over  the 
names  of  each  and  saying  "  ^"700 !  why  you  must 
give  a  ball!"  Fool!  As  yet  I  have  sold 


worth — but  have  not  received  one  farthing — for  great 
people  generally  suppose  that  artists  gnaw  their 
colours  and  brushes  for  food.  .  .  .  Overleaf  I  will 
give  you  a  sort  of  picture  of  my  gallery.  There's  a 
proof  that  an  old  cove  of  50  has  some  energy  still ! 

Sir  H.  S.  has   been   most  particularly   amiable — 
asking   me   perpetually  to    Sunday  dinners.      He  is 

274 


Corfu 

doubtless  one  of  the  most  agreeable  men  socially — 
and  in  his  public  character  I  perceive  that  he  is 
always  consistent — never  for  a  moment  forgetting 
that  he  is  the  Q.'s  Lord  H.  Commissioner. 

Of  the  swells — next  to  those  Palatial — the  ancient 
general  seems  a  jovial  amiable  man.  But  there  is  no 
one  here  I  can  walk  with  comfortably,  and  I  miss 
Lushington  horridly  at  times.  Last  Sunday  I 
insisted — (as  Sir  C.  Sargent  and  Wolff  wanted  me 
to  walk)  on  not  pottering  to  the  one-gun-battery — 
which  is  like  walking  up  and  down  Rotten  Row — so 
we  walked  round  Potamo ;  it  was  one  of  the  most 
lovely  of  afternoons,  and  the  colour  and  scenery  were 
enough  to  delight  a  dead  man.  These  two  live  ones 
however  never  once  looked  at  or  spoke  of  it :  their 
talk  was  of  money  and  politics  only,  and  made  me 
sick  for  the  three  hours.  Lady  Wolff  is  a  singularly 
clever  woman.  A  Professor  Ansted1  is  here — a  very 
intellectual  and  pleasant  man.  Sir  H.  Storks  sent 
him  to  me  from  my  knowing  the  island  well,  and  I 
took  him  to  Peleca  and  got  him  to  dine  with  me. 
There  is  also  a  very  curious  young  man — Lord 
Seymour2 — here :  his  ways  are  ways  of  wonder,  but 
it  seems  to  me  I  should  or  shall  like  him. 

Lear  to  Lady  Waldegrave. 

15  March  1863 

Your  letter  of  the  23rd  February  gave  me  a  great 
deal  of  pleasure ;  it  is  delightful  to  know  from  your- 

1  The  well-known  geologist.      2  Son  of  the  Duke  of  Somerset 

275 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

self  that  you  and  Chichester  are  so  happy,  though  I 
knew  very  well  that  you  would  be  so.  The  Pig- 
hearted  has  an  abundance  of  good  qualities,  which 
are  not  observable  even  upon  long  knowledge  of  his 
character. 

I  am  glad  I  was  not  doomed  to  hear  Mr.  J.'s 
sermon.  I  begin  to  be  vastly  weary  of  hearing 
people  talk  nonsense  —  unanswered, — not  because 
they  are  unanswerable,  but  because  they  talk  in 
pulpits.  That  same  morning  I  heard  a  "discourse" 
on  Lot's  wife  and  other  unpleasant  legends,  being — 
as  I  find  in  my  journal,  the  23rd  I  have  heard  on  the 
same  subject.  Are  not  the  priests  of  the  age  blind 
indeed  not  to  discern  that,  though  from  the  unassail- 
able vantage  ground  of  custom  they  may  oppress  the 
human  intellect  for  a  long  long  while,  yet  that  some 
day  the  hour  will  come  for  them  to  go  the  way  of  all 
other  priesthoods  ? 

The  battle  about  Colenso  interests  me  immensely : 
I  perceive  that  Hampden1  and  Thirlwall  are  the  only 
two  of  all  the  silly  Bishops  who  have  not  signed  the 
Memorial  to  "  Natal."  In  the  nature  of  things  it  was 
not  to  be  supposed  that  the  Bps  were  to  forward 
Colenso's  views,  but  they  might  have  done  another 
thing — to  wit,  let  him  alone.  A  broader  creed, — a 
better  form  of  worship — the  cessation  of  nonsense  and 
curses — and  the  recognition  of  a  new  state  of  matters 
brought  about  by  centuries,  science,  destiny  or  what 

1  Bishop  of  Hereford,  whose  election  in  1847  was  opposed  by 
thirteen  bishops  and  the  Dean  of  Hereford. 

276 


Corfu 

not — will  assuredly  be  demanded  and  come  to  pass 
whether  Bishops  and  priests  welcome  the  changes  or 
resist  them.  Not  those  who  believe  that  God  the 
Creator  is  greater  than  a  Book,  and  that  millions 
unborn  are  to  look  up  to  higher  thoughts  than  those 
stereotyped  by  ancient  legends,  gross  ignorance,  and 
hideous  bigotry — not  those  are  the  Infidels, — but 
these  same  screamy  ganders  of  the  church,  who  put 
darkness  forward  and  insist  that  it  is  light. 

Meanwhile  I  hear  that  a  measure  is  to  be  brought 
forward  in  the  Legislature,  to  simplify  the  creed  of 
religious  England,  and  thus  by  the  shortest  catechism 
to  abolish  all  infidel  doctrines.  The  Bishops  of  all 
dioceses  are  to  prevent  the  clergy  from  allowing  any 
person  to  attend  church  who  does  not  answer  2  simple 
questions  in  the  affirmative. 

i st.  Do  you  believe  in  Balaam's  ass,  Jonah's 
whale,  Elisha's  bears,  and  Lot's  wife  ? 

2nd.  Do  you  believe  that  all  mankind  who  do  not 
believe  in  these  creatures  will  be  burned  in  everlast- 
ing fire,  wholly  without  respect  to  their  wisdom, 
charity  or  any  other  good  quality? 

.  .  .  My  life  here  has  gone  on  very  sklombion- 
biously  on  the  whole — though  I  go  out  very  little, 
not  being,  as  you  know,  of  a  gregarious  nature.  .  .  , 
Sir  Henry  Storks  very  often  asks  me  to  dine  on 
Sunday,  and  I  find  the  evening  there  very  agreeable: 
— he  is  so  full  of  anecdote  and  information  that  you 
would  suppose  he  had  had  nothing  to  do  but  flaner 
all  his  life — instead  of  being  soldier,  governor,  and 

277 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

what  not.  To  me  he  seems  most  excellently  fitted 
for  his  post  here,  being  always  the  same  consistent 
man  in  public  life  and  private. 

Heaps  of  Gonfiati1  continue  to  rush  about  here 
at  intervals :  a  surprising  duchess  came  to  my  rooms 

2  days  ago — (M ) — though  I  don't  think  she 

looked  at  anything  very  much.  But  the  people 
whose  acquaintance  has  most  delighted  me  are  the 
Shelley's2 — who  are  here  in  a  yott.  Think  of  my 
music  to  "O  world,  O  life,  O  time!" — Shelley's  words 
— being  put  down  in  notes  by  Shelley's  own  son  ! 
Then  there  is  Lord  Seymour,  who  seems  to  me  as  if 
he  had  dreamed  a  dream  and  was  continually  a-dream- 
ing  of  having  dreamed  it :  qua  a  Duke's  eldest  sun, 
certainly  an  odd  mortal,  though  there  is  somewhat  of 
interest  about  him.  Also  there  was  Smith  O'Brien,3 
who  has  sail'd  off  to  Athens,  I  really  believe,  upon 
some  hubbly  bubbly  errand  of  stuff.  The  Duke  of 
St.  Alban's  was  here  too,  which  his  Duchess  mother 
I  like  more  nor  the  Duchess  just  gone.  .  .  . 

At  the  present  moment  I  have  pulled  down  my 
Eggzibission — and  shall  send  some  to  England  pos- 
sibly,— one  is  for  C.  F.'s  wedding  present  bye  the  bye 

1  Swells. 

a  Sir  Percy  Florence  Shelley,  only  son  of  the  poet,  succeeded 
his  grandfather  as  third  baronet  in  1844.  He  married  the 
widow  of  the  Hon.  C.  R.  St.  John. 

3  The  famous  Irish  revolutionary,  who  was  tried  for  High 
Treason  in  1848  and  sentenced  to  be  hanged,  drawn,  and 
quartered.  He  was,  however,  only  transported  to  Tasmania, 
receiving  a  pardon  in  1854. 

278 


Corfu 

— but  my  principal  effort  just  now  is  towards  the 
production  of  24  views  to  illustrate  the  Ionian  Islands. 
.  .  .  My  love  to  XoipoicapStaQ  Choirokardias  (which  is 
the  Pighearted). 

Please  let  C.  F.  have  the  disclosed  note. 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

23  March  1863 

The  sklimjimfiousness  of  the  situation  increases : 
Sir  H.  Drummond  Wolff  has  been  and  gone  and 
bought  2  of  my  drawings — and  Captain  Stocker  is 
to  buy  another,  so  that  I  shall  have  enough  tin  to  pay 
rent  and  shut  up  house  for  8  weeks  or  thereabouts. 
Whereupon,  I  shall  first  make  some  studies  of  what 
Lady  Young  used  to  call  "  Awnge  trees  "  and  then  I 
shall  go  to  Paxo. 

There  was  an  old  person  of  Paxo 

Which  complained  when  the  fleas  bit  his  back  so, 

But  they  gave  him  a  chair 

And  impelled  him  to  swear, 
Which  relieved  that  old  person  of  Paxo. 

Just  as  I  had  written  this  bosh,  came  a  nokkat  the 
daw — and  lo !  a  letter  of  yours  sent  by  the  L.H.C. 
.  .  .  I  heard  Wolff  say  yesterday  that  the  "Judge 
Affair "  was  postponed  by  Ld.  D[erby]'s  govt.  I 
hope  your  govt.  won't  suffer.  I  suppose  something 
must  be  unbeknown  as  yet  to  the  public  about  the 
judicials  removed  :  anyhow  Sir  H.  S.'s  general  public 
conduct  has  been — as  far  as  I  am  able  to  see — so 

279 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

sensible,  that  I  cannot  but  give  him  credit  for  having 
more  and  stronger  motives  for  the  change  of  the 
official  dignitaries  than  his  adversaries  allow. 

I  go  hence — as  I  said — on  the  4th  April — and 
return  towards  the  end  of  May,  but  I  will  write  to 
you  from  Sta  Maura.  .  .  .  My  gallery  is  nearly 
dismantled,  and  must  be  put  up — what  remains  of 
it — in  Stratford  Place,  where  by  June  15  I  hope  to 
see  you 

u  but  never  more,  O  !  never  we — 
Shall  meet  to  eggs  and  toast  and  T  ! " 

Never  mind.  I  don't  grumble  at  the  less  I  see  of 
friends — so  they  gain  by  it.  ...  Ford  writes — the 
"  Cedars "  are  just  now  put  up  again  in  Stratford 
Place  :  please,  if  you  have  time,  see  them  and  tell  me 
how  they  look — poor  brutes. 

The  account  of  the  wedding1  was  delightful :  poor 
dear  Queen.  We  are  going  to  abluminate  tonight — 
the  day  being  fine.  Giorgio  has  bought  96  little 
earthen  pots  for  lights.  ...  I  wonder  if  you  had  a 
new  coat  when  you  married. 

Another  Nok  at  the  Dore — Sir  Percy  and  Lady 
Shelley  and  little  Florence — and  to  say  "  goodbye  " — 
which  I  hate.  Lady  S.  is  out  and  out  and  out  a 
stunner  of  a  delightful  woman.  .  .  . 

1  Of  H.R.H.  the  Prince  of  Wales  to  Princess  Alexandra  of 
Denmark. 


280 


CHAPTER    XI 
June  to  December,  1863 

ENGLAND 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

ANCONA.    7  a.m.  8  June,  1863. 

YOU  see  I  am  on  my  way  so  far,  and  I  suppose  I 
may  be  in  England  on  Friday  and  in  town  on 
Saturday.  So  that  I  shall  hope  to  see  you  and  Lady 
Waldegrave  on  Sunday. 

I  have  wearied  awfully  of  the  sea  voyage — and  do 
so  more  and  more.  Perhaps  the  whole  stagnation  of 
a  week  or  more — besides  the  actual  physical  nuisance, 
makes  me  determined  to  put  an  end  to  this  double 
"journey  of  life."  But  where  I  must  live,  so  as  to  live 
only  in  one  place  I  can't  yet  decide. 

.  .  .  The  farther  I  go  from  Corfu — the  more  I  look 
back  to  the  delight  its  beautiful  quiet  has  so  long 
given  me,  and  I  am  by  no  means  approaching  the 
filth  and  horror  and  noise  of  London  life  with  a 
becoming  spirit. 

Sitting  next  to  the  Captain  of  an  Austrian  Frigate 

281 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

at  Sir  H.  Stork's  on  Thursday  evening — the  German 
officer  said  to  a  subaltern — (the  conversation  was 
about  the  good  looks  of  women) — "  I  do  think  the 
Englishwoman  conserve  her  aperient  Galship  longer 
than  all  the  women  :  even  as  far  as  her  Antics." 

The  subaltern  withered  with  confusion  till  I  ven- 
tured to  explain, 

"  The  Englishwoman  preserves  her  appearance  of 
youth  longer  than  all  women— even  if  she  be  old." 

TURIN.     Wednesday  17  June,  1863. 

You  will  be  sorry  to  know  from  this  that  I  have 
been  lying  here  very  ill — this  is  the  9th  day.  I  think 
I  wrote  to  you  from  Ancona  on  the  8th  when  I  landed 
from  Corfu — intending  to  come  on  at  once  to  Paris 
and  London.  But  as  yet  V.  Emmanuel's  govt.  has  not 
been  able  to  put  a  stop  to  all  the  old  remains  of  Papal 
torture,  one  of  which  was — to  examine  the  goods  of 
travellers  in  the  middle  of  the  road  on  leaving  Ancona 
— (Ancona  being  a  free  town).  So  I  had  to  undergo 
this  at  noon,  and  having  no  servant  and  heavy  boxes 
to  unstrap,  half  an  hour  in  the  great  heat  knocked  me 
up  with  a  sunstroke. 

I  came  on  here,  but  grew  worse  and  worse :  and  I 
did  not  think  I  should  live.  I  believe  now  however 
that  I  may  get  over  the  attack  tho'  I  cannot  tell  when 
I  shall  be  able  to  travel. 

You  may  suppose  my  plans  for  London  season  are 
all  gone  to  the  winds.  I  often  thank  God  that 
although  he  has  given  me  a  nature  easily  worried  by 

282 


England 

small  matters,  yet  in  cases  such  as  this  I  go  on  day 
after  day  quite  calmly,  only  thankful  that  I  do  not 
suffer  more. 

It  is  an  odd  full  stop  to  my  triumphant  8  weeks' 
success  in  the  Island  tour.  .  .  . 

Aug:  5,  1863. 

I  met  Ld.  Kirkwall  yesterday  afternoon  in  Pall 
Mall.  He  was  going  to  harangue  about  Sir  H.  S. 
when  I  said,  "  I  saw  much  more  of  Sir  Henry  than  in 
the  year  you  were  in  Corfu — and  I  not  only  like  him 
very  much,  but  think  him  an  A.  No.  i  Governor" 
whereat  he  dropped  my  hand  and  collapsed. 

A  moth  has  crossed  my  paper,  so  I  must  go  and 
kill  him. 

A 


Lear  to  Fortescue. 

HASTINGS, 

Aug.  9,  1863. 

I  had  thought  of  writing  out  my  6  island  journal 
here,  but  I  am  so  ill  at  ease  that  I  shall  do  neither 
that  nor  anything  else  I  believe.  .  .  . 

283 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

My  plan  was  to  bring  out  a  work  consisting  of  20 
Ionian  views.  .  .  . 

This  collection  would,  you  see,  have  given  the 
beastly  public  all  that  was  most  characteristic  of  the 
Islands  :  and,  being  well  done,  if  at  all,  would  keep  up 
my  prestige  as  a  draftsman  of  Mediterranean  scenery 
— and  would,  moreover,  hold  up  or  pave  a  way  to  my 
more  general  smallersized  Topography  of  Greece,  to 
be  one  day  printed  with  my  Journals.  But,  as  above 
related,  everything  is  in  Noobibus  as  yet, — and  I,  as 
you  may  guess,  grow  more  and  more  vexed  perpetual. 

This  place,  or  rather  this  part  of  it,  is  also  growing 
more  and  more  odious.  Since  a  huge  hotel  has  been 
built,  I  assure  you  to  walk  in  the  evening  is  precisely 
like  going  into  Regent  St.  or  Piccadilly — nay,  rather 
Cheapside.  Nothing  like  "the  country  "  do  I  enjoy  in 
England  nowadays.  London  is  introduced  and  ground 
into  every  life  far  or  near.  It  seems  to  me  therefore 
.  .  .  that  I  shall  .  .  .  betake  myself  back  to  London 
until  I  go  southward  : — first  however,  taking  some  6 
or  8  views  of  this  once  lovely  place  as  of  one  I  shall 
not  easily  come  to  again.  .  .  . 

Society  here  is  rabid  with  bigotry  &  bother ;  & 

moreover  is  altogether  oppressed  with  W & 

passonic  tendencies.  Everybody  thinks  as  old  Lady 
Waldegrave1  chooses — except  those  exactly  antagon- 

1  Sarah,  widow  of  Edward  Milward,  of  Hastings,  and  daughter 
of  the  Rev.  W.  Whitear,  Prebendary  of  Chichester,  married 
as  his  second  wife  the  eighth  Earl  Waldegrave,  uncle  and 
successor  of  Frances  Countess  Waldegrave's  husband,  the 
seventh  Earl. 

284 


England 

istic,  such  as  High  Church  &  R.  Catholics,  concerning 
which  latter  there  is  the  devil  of  a  fuss.  For  the 
Dowger  Duchess  of  Leeds  has  come  to  live  here  in 
the  Convent,  (where  Cardinal  W.  also  comes  at 
times)  and  is  buying  land  "all  over  the  place"  to 
the  rage  &  horror  of  the  Hastings  folk.  I  can't  help 
laughing  at  the  last  thing  she  has  done — viz  : — to 
purchase  a  large  house  just  opposite  old  Lady  W.'s. 
&  next  door  to  the  raging  Low  Church  Lady 
W.'s  particular  preserve — for  a  Jesuit  Seminary!!!!! 
Between  Colenso  &  the  Duchess  of  L.  all  Hastings 
is  all  but  gone  frantic.  .  .  .  The  people  of  the 
lodgings  have  nevertheless  conceived  a  favourable 
idea  of  my  piety  by  seeing  "  La  vie  de  Jesus  "  on 
my  table  (by  the  bye — I  beg  you  will  read  it 
carefully),  little  conceiving  the  opposition  of  that 
volume  to  their  views  &  their  topics  of  faith.  Ernest 
Renan  is  assuredly  "a  Clayver  man.  ..." 

Squiggs.  Beetles.  Bother.  Bullfrogs.  Butter- 
cups. Let  us  change  the  subject. 

14,  August,  1863. 

I  was  erjoiced  to  get  your  letter  today.  ...  I 
tookarookarook  this  paper  to  write  a  decent  letter — 
but  can't  go  on — candles  kill  me,  and  I  have  no  lamp. 

Only — thanks  for  the  Ionian  Judges  their  papers.1 
Winkins  !  Xidian 2  is  a  one-er  he  is ! — &  spite  of 

1  Correspondence     and    papers     relative   to  the     summary 
removal  of  the  Ionian  Judges  by  Sir  Henry  Storks. 

2  One  of  the  removed  Judges. 

285 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Count  Metaxa's  l  friendship,  he  ought  to  have  been 
suspended  long  ago  if  a  twentieth  part  of  what 
Kapovao 2  says  is  true.  A  small  bird  however  had 
told  me  that  enormities  were  to  be  expected,  so  it 
wasn't  surprised  I  was.  To  my  thinking  Sir  H.  S. 
has  simply  done  a  very  evident  public  duty  cour- 
ageously. Sargent  and  Colquhoun  I  imagine  won't 
delight  in  their  descriptions.  Kapovao  has  always 
been  described  to  me  as  a  man  of  great  character 
and  firmness — and  so  meseems  he  is — by  token  of 
these  papers. 

1 6  August. 

I  am  all  at  sea,  bother.  These  rooms  are  let  to  a 
family  with  497  children,  and  I  have  to  turn  out  on 
Tuesday.  .  .  .  English  country  house  visiting  is 
well  for  the  idle  and  rich.  I'll  no  more  of  it. 

As  soon  as  I  get  back  to  town,  I  either  resolve  on 
and  set  to  work  on  this  Lithograph  volume — or  I 
don't,  and  go  abroad.  If  the  former,  I  dorit  stir  out 
of  London  till  its  DONE—DONE— DONE— so 
don't  ask  me. 

Concentrate  your  ideas  if  you  want  to  do  anything 
well,  and  don't  run  about,  as  the  Tortoise  said  to  the 
Armadillo. 

fi?tStav3  and  case  is  certainly  amazing.  "  Save  me 
from  my  friends !  "  well  may  he  say  to  Lord  Derby 
and  the  "  Saturday  Review." 

1  Count  Jean-Baptiste  Metaxa,  a  member  01  one  of  the  most 
powerful  families  in  the  Ionian  Isles,  became  a  naturalised 
Englishman  in  1846.  a  Caruso.  3  Xidian. 

286 


England 

Edward  Wilson  *  has  been  staying  here,  and  I  saw 
a  good  deal  of  him  :  a  singular  man.  He  showed  me 
the  Petition  2  which  came  down  here  for  him  to  sign, 
and  you  have  doubtless  seen  another  "  Times  "  letter 
of  his.  I  saw  the  replies  you  mention.  Not  under- 
standing these  things  fully — it  appears  to  me  that  it 
would  be  better  for  the  Imperial  Govt.  to  disgust  one 
Colony  by  not  giving  it  convicts,  than  to  disgust  all 
the  other  Colonies  in  Australia  by  the  opposite  line. 
If  the  transportation  of  convicts  "must  cease"  before 
many  years — why  not  try  to  legislate  for  that  fact  now. 
However,  E.  Wilson  and  I  don't  agree  on  many 
points,  as  you  may  suppose  when  he  says  /  am  a  Tory. 
His  energy  is  instructive.  We  went  to  see  mills  and 
farms  and  bulls  and  hydraulic  botherations — drains 
and  other  statistic  beastlinesses,  here  ;  and  now  he  is 
off  for  cattle  to  Alderney :  to  inspect  oyster  beds  at 
St.  Malo  :  some  mines  at  Vichy  :  some  agricultural  in- 
ventions near  Montpelier  :  a  garden  of  acclimatization 
at  Stuttgard — and  something  else  at  Rotterdam  before 
he  returns  to  sail  from  Liverpool  early  in  October. 
...  By  yesterday's  Gazette  I  see  Miss  Lascelles  3 

1  He  emigrated  to  Melbourne  in  1842,  and  took  a  prominent 
part  in  public  life  in  Australia.     He  strongly  opposed  the  influx 
of  convicts  from  Tasmania,  which  led  to  the  Convict  Prevention 
Act. 

2  Protesting  against  all  our  worst  criminals  being   sent  to 
Western  Australia,  as  had  just  been  advocated  in  the  Report  of 
the  Commissioners  on  Penal  Discipline. 

3  Miss  Emma  Lascelles,  who  married  in  1865  Lord  Edward 
Cavendish,  the  third  son  of  the  Duke  of  Devonshire. 

287 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

is  Maid  of  Honour  "  vice  "  Honble  Adelaide  Caven- 
dish resigned.  Now,  you  don't  see  how  that  interests 
me — you  don't,  you  don't,  you  don't !  But  it  does — 
werry — and  one  day  you'll  see  why — you  will,  you 
will,  you  will. 

I  expect  to  hear  Xidian  and  Marcoran  and  Caruso 
will  all  murder  each  other  promiscuous.  How  are  the 
elections  going  on  there,  I  wonder.1  .  .  . 

What  would  Neptune  say  if  they  deprived  him  of 
the  sea  ? 

"  I  haven't  a  n/otion !  " 


1  Sir  Henry  Storks  dissolved  the  Ionian  Parliament  on  the 
6th  of  August,  and  summoned  a  new  one,  in  order  to  ascertain 
in  a  formal  manner  the  wishes  of  the  people  regarding  the 
cession  to  Greece,  the  Great  Powers  having  already  signified 
their  assent  to  this  proposition  at  a  Conference  held  in  London 
in  June^ 

288 


England 

I  asked  the  girl  here  (having  a  friend  to  dine, 
and  wishing  to  have  the  wine  cool)  for  some  ice. 
But  she  thought  I  said,  "  I  want  some  mice  / "  and 
was  seized  with  great  fear  forthwith. 

15,  STRATFORD  PLACE,  OXFORD  ST. 

6  September  1863. 

I  want  you  to  write  to  Lord  Palmer ston  to  ask  him 
to  ask  the  Queen  to  ask  the  King  of  Greece l  to  give 
me  a  "  place."  As  I  never  asked  anything  of  you 
before,  I  think  I  may  rely  on  your  doing  this  for  me. 
I  wish  the  place  to  be  created  a-purpos  for  me,  and 
the  title  to  be  6  ''Apxavontna^vapiairotog,2  with  per- 
mission to  wear  a  fool's  cap  (or  mitre) — 3  pounds  of 
butter  yearly  and  a  little  pig, — and  a  small  donkey  to 
ride  on.  Please  don't  forget  all  this,  as  I  have  set 
my  heart  on  it. 

I  see  by  the  "  Observer  "  of  today  that  the  King  of 
Greece  is  to  come  to  Windsor  or  Balmoral  about  the 
1 5th, — and  that  the  vote  of  the  Ifonian]  Parliament 
cannot  be  taken  before  the  2nd  or  3rd  week  in 
October — after  which  he  is  to  go  to  Athens.  If  I 
hear  before  that,  that  we  (the  English  in  the  7  islands) 
are  likely  to  clear  out  before  Christmas,  it  will  make  a 
great  difference  to  me — for  I  then  should  not  take  out 
drawings  or  copies  of  my  new  work.  So  let  me  know, 
as  far  as  you  may  with  properriety. 

I  finished  my  third  view  yesterday,  17  now  remain- 

1  Prince  George  of  Denmark  was  proclaimed  King  of  Greece 
at  Athens  on  the  3oth  of  March. 
8  Lord  High  bosh  and  nonsense  producer. 

289  U 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

ing :  and  I  should  have  begun  the  4th  if  a  brute  of  an 
Irishman  (the  member  for  Louth  it  was)  hadn't  inter- 
rupted me.  I  was  however  consoled  for  this  by  his 
bringing  me  photographs  of  two  of  my  friends,  both 
of  which  (i.e.  the  photographs)  I  like  better  the  more 
I  see  of  them.  Yours  however  is  not  altogether  right, 
but  my  lady's  is  very  exact.  Only  I  could  feel  inclined 
to  cut  the  head  of  it  into  a  vignette.  The  large 
dresses  of  the  day  never  look  well  photographed,  for 
in  themselves  they  are  so  monstrous  that  only  the 
movement  of  a  live  woman  can  make  them  approxi- 
mate to  a  human  figure  at  all,  and  that  movement  of 
course  can't  be  given  in  photography  or  art,  so  that 
the  portrait  of  a  sitting  lady  in  a  crinoline  always 
looks  as  if  she  were  a  dwarf  walking.  I  shall  there- 
fore make  a  vignette :  the  face  is  the  very  best  I  have 
seen  photographed  for  a  long  time — but  the  white 
feather  catches  the  eye  and  should  be  toned  down  a 
bit  selon  moi. 

I  go  on  reading  C.  Lever  stujously  :  he's  a  wonder- 
ful fellow.  No  novels  have  interested  me  so  much 
since  my  early  days  of  devouring  W.  Scott's.  To 
enter  into  a  great  part  of  the  delights  of  his  descrip- 
tions however,  one  must  have  lived  a  good  deal 
abroad — and  also  it  behoves  one  to  appreciate  Irish 
character  completely,  which,  perhaps  thanks  to  my 
Gt.Gt.Gt.Gt.Gt.Gt.grandfather  Usher — I  can  do. 

The  "  Knight  of  Wynne"  is  delightful,  and  now  I  am 
reading  "The  Daltons."  Mrs.  Ricketts  is  a  picture 
from  life. — so' well  drawn  as  to  keep  me  in  a  scream  of 

290 


H    S1 


England 

laughter.  I  think  you  knew  her  or  saw  her — Mrs. 

S of  L .  Purvis  is  one  of  her  set.  She  was 

a  horrid  animal  and  deserved  even  worse  showing  up. 

How  do  you  think  I  am  going  to  pass  my  Sunday? 
In  a  long  walk  up  to  Highgate,  where  I  shall  go  and 
look  at  my  dear  sister's  grave,  which  I  always  mean 
to  do.  The  greatest  blessing  that  ever  happened  to 
me  was  being  here  when  she  died.  .  .  . 

No  more  thyme. 

P.S. — I  perceive  that  Septembers  are  variously 
passed  in  this  life.  Sept.  1861  I  painted  all  day — 
lived  upon  soles  and  whitings,  and  read  Greek  morn- 
ing and  evening. 

Sept.  1862.  I  dawdled  all  day  at  people's  houses, 
lived  upon  luxuries,  and  made  a  book  of  nonsense, 
morning  and  evening. 

Sept.  1863.  I  lithograph  all  day  :  live  upon  cold 
mutton  and  read  Lever. 

15,  STRATFORD  PLACE,  OXFORD  STREET, 

14  Sept.,  1863. 

I  fear  the  New  Zealand  bothers  l  are  recommencing 
and  no  mistake.  The  Southern  islanders  are  happy 
to  be  out  of  all  that  confusion.  I  have  had  2  letters 
"North"  and  "South"  sent  me  by  my  sisters  this 
last  week,  both  shocking  enough. 

Bye  the  bye,  one  of  the  oddest  feelings  I  can 
remember  to  have  encountered  came  to  me  by  a 

1  This  year  saw  the  commencement  of  a  little  war  with  the 
Maoris,  arising  out  of  the  question  of  the  English  appropriation 
of  waste  lands. 

201 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

circumstance  last  Monday.  On  the  Sunday,  I  had 
gone  to  Highgate  Cemetery  to  see  about  my  dear 
sister  Ann's  grave,  and  returning,  perceived  afar, 
that  the  old  House  I  was  born  in,  (its  gardens  and 
paddocks  were  long  ago  destroyed  by  new  roads  and 
buildings,)  was  advertised  for  sale  as  building  materials, 
4  houses  to  be  raised  on  its  site.  So  the  follow- 
ing day  I  went  up  there,  and  all  over  it :  and  I  can 
assure  you,  the  annihilation  of  time  which  seeing  such 
early-known  localities  produced  was  curious,  and  made 
me  afterwards  thoughtful  enough.  As  I  stood  in 
various  parts  of  the  large  empty  rooms,  I  could 
absolutely  hear  and  see  voices  and  persons,  and  could 
— (had  I  had  a  pen  and  ink  paper  and  time,)  have 
written  out  months  and  years  of  life  nearly  50  years 
ago,  exactly  and  positively.  (The  old  woman  who 
shewed  the  house  seemed  horribly  puzzled  at  my 
knowing  all  the  odd  closets  and  doors  etc :  and 
received  2/6  with  a  mixture  of  pleasure  and  fear.).  .  .  . 
I  must  go  and  finish  the  7th  lithograph — wo  is  me. 
.  .  .  This  work  is  so  filthy  too.  I  shall  never  be 
clean  again.  When  it  is  done,  I 
shall  sit  10  days  in  a  warm  water 
pot,  covered  with  a  covering — 
and  receive  my  friends — thus 

Bye  the  bye — when  I  left  Corfu,  Sir  H.  S.  asked 
me  if  I  would  take  some  dispatches — "  Would  you 
like  to  take  some  dispatches,  Mr.  Lear?"  I  re- 
member saying — "No  Sir" — in  a  tone  like  "God 
forbid  Sir !  " — but  what  should  I  have  said  ? 

292 


England 

For  fescue  to  Lear. 

Sep.  i$th,  1863. 

LITHOGRAPHIC  LEAR, — How  do  you  get  on  ?  I  hope 
you  have  found  "sermons  in  stones  and  good  in 
everything."  .  .  .  Come  to  us  then,  Lithographic 
Lear,  upon  the  Mosaic  Sabbath,  and  pass  here  the 
Sabbath  of  Shaftesbury. 

Sept.  16,  1863. 

DEAR  4OSCUE, — Gracious  grease  pots!  I've  just 
done  the  8th  lithograph,  and  have  put  the  tracing  on 
for  the  Qth,  so,  while  that  is  drying,  I've  run  up  here 
to  write  a  line. 

Do  you  see  you  are  a  rattlesnakist  ?  Leastwise 
your  chief  is.  In  the  "  Times  "  of  today  E.  Wilson 
compares  the  Convicts  to  a  rattlesnake,  and  the  Duke  l 
to  them  as  throws  them  into  a  babby's  bed.  The 
reptile  is  to  be  chopped  up — but  the  thrower  is  to  be 
worse  dealt  with.  I  wish  though  seriously,  you  could 
find  some  new  place  for  the  convicts.  What  a  bore 
they  are.  What  a  bore  everything  is — particularly 
lithography. 

I  disclose  a  proof  of  my  first  prospectus.2  .  .  .  I've 
got  4  subscribers  to  begin  with  meanwhile,  which  is 
something  on  the  way  to  600.  Never  mind.  Percy  - 
weer. 

Goodbye,  von  Louth  ...  in  a  nurry. 

1  The  Duke  of  Newcastle,  Secretary  of  State  for  the  Colonies. 
a  "Views  of  the  Seven  Ionian  Islands,"  published  1863. 


293 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Sept.,  1863. 

I  came  to  "  leave  a  card  "  on  you,  as  you  ax'd  me 
to  the  dinner  yesterday — so  here  it  is — 


I  was  disgusted  at  being  aperiently  so  rude  to  Lady 
Waldegrave — but  I  was  not  well  from  the  East  winds, 
and  so  completely  uncertain  whether  I  had  any  voice 
or  not,  that  I  thought  it  better  not  to  sing,  than  to  go 
to  the  piano  and  be  obliged  to  quit  it.  I  felt  like  a 
cow  who  has  swallowed  a  glass  bottle — or  a  boiled 
weasel — and  should  probably  have  made  a  noise  like 
a  dyspeptic  mouse  in  a  fit. 

But  I  passed  a  very  pleasant  evening,  and  was 
delighted  with  Lady  Waldegrave's  perfectly  natural 
and  kind  manner.  I  should  have  liked  to  sit  next  to 
you,  but  I  couldn't  resist  moving  up  to  my  next  neigh- 
bour. I  came  out  purposing  to  leave  cards  at  Carlton 
Gardens — so  I  shall  do  so,  though  I  know  the  Lady  is 
out,  for  I  nearly  ran  under  the  veels  of  her  Chariot 
just  now,  whereby  she  made  me  a  bough. 

I  must  add  that  I  think  your  room  looks  extremely 

294 


England 


pretty — and  the  Pigchr  is  stunning  as  it  hangs  now. 
How  nicely  you  have  had  the  "  Morn  broadens  "  done 
as  to  frame. 


There  was  an  old  man  who  said,  "  How, 
Shall  I  flee  from  this  terrible  cow  ? 

I  will  sit  on  this  stile 

And  continue  to  smile — 
Which  may  soften  the  heart  of  that  cow." 


What's  the  difference  between  the  Czar  and  the 
"  Times  "  paper  ?  One  is  the  type  of  Despotism  :  the 
other  the  despotism  of  Type. 

What  is  the  difference  between  a  hen  and  a  kitchen- 
maid?  One  is  a  domestic  fowl,  the  other  a  foul 
domestic. 

Why  need  you  not  starve  in  the  Desert  ?  Because 

295 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

you  might  eat  all  the  Sand  which  is  there.  Why  are 
the  Sandwiches  there  ?  Because  there  the  family  of 
Ham  was  bread  and  mustard. 

Fortescue  to  Lear. 

DUDBROOK, 

BRENTWOOD, 

22  November,  1863. 

I  saw  the  Duke  of  N.  (who  is  in  very  bad  health)  in 
London,  and  asked  him  about  Corfu.  He  says  all 
will  go  well,  in  spite  of  the  usual  ill-conditioned  child- 
ishness of  the  Assembly — but  that  the  settlement  of 
the  Treaty  with  Greece  will  take  time — that  between 
the  Great  Powers  is  signed  already.  Lord  Russell 
says  that  the  troops  will  not  be  away  before  April. 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

Jany,  i,  1864. 

The  woes  of  life. — I  am  off  unexpectedly  ...  an 
acquaintance  (Wade-Brown  of  the  Guards,)  goes  to- 
morrow all  the  way  to  Corfu,  so  I  decided  on  flitting. 
Hard  work  packing,  etc :  etc :  in  a  day !  but  it  was 
harder  and  sadder  to  write,  write,  write,  to  the  remain- 
ing 50  of  my  subscribers,  who  naturally  think  3  guineas 
can  be  nothing,  forgetting  that  1 50  guineas  are  much. 

You  will  be  happy  to  hear  that  I  have  put  by  ^300, 
and  therefore  am  entitled  annually  to  £9  all  my  life. 
I  would  not  go  through  what  I  have  again  for  ^9000 
a  year.  But  having  seen  fit  to  begin  a  work,  I  went 
through  with  it.  ... 

296 


CHAPTER  XII 
January  to  April,  1864 

LAST     VISIT     TO     CORFU 

Lear  to  Fortescue. 

CORFU.    loth  January  1864. 

I  CAME  here  yesterday  at  noon  .  .  .  the  passage 
to  Calais  was  dreadful,  nor  could  we  pass  the 
bar  until  too  late  to  catch  the  afternoon  train  to  Paris. 
Hence  13  hours  of  an  at-e  very-station -stopping  train, 
and  consequent  obligation  to  sleep  at  Paris  all  the 
following  day  till  noon.  Paris  was  cold  too, — but 
that  fact  gave  me  an  opportunity  of  seeing  the 
Prince  Imperial,1  who,  in  a  carriage  and  four,  stopped 
to  gaze  at  the  swans  in  the  Tuileries  gardens,  ice- 
begirt  and  crumb-desiring.  Lots  of  little  gamins 
stopped  also  and  inspected  the  imperial  child  as  he 
did  the  swans.  .  .  . 

George  Cocali  was  all  ready  for  me,  and  today 
everything  is  so  regular  and  matter  of-course  that 
I  don't  seem  to  have  been  absent  an  hour.  The 

1  Napoleon  Eugene  Louis,  only  son  of  Napoleon  III.,  born 
1856,  killed  in  Zululand  June  i,  1879. 

297 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

odd  pounds  extra,  purchase  comfort  in  home  and 
service  very  cheaply.  .  .  .  The  domestic  intelligence 
I  have  heard  is  that  Colquhoun  still  holds  off  the 
Palace — but  the  Sargents  have  had  a  formal  recon- 
ciliation with  the  Lord  High — Lady  S.  not  being, 
I  should  imagine,  either  able  or  inclined  to  forfeit 
any  amount  of  social  position.  .  .  . 

Monday,  nth.  I  dined  at  the  Palace  yester- 
day. .  .  .  Sir  Henry  was  as  ever  absolutely  amiable 
and  gentlemanlike,  or  as  some  one  here  says,  he 
"  never  forgets  that  he  is  the  representative  of  the 
Queen  for  one  moment." 

Alas !  as  for  Corfu  I  can  say  little  yet :  all  the  less 
that  10  shillings  worth  of  letters  have  just  come  full 
of  Post  Office  Orders  and  cheques  from  "  silly  swells  " 
who  couldnt  pay  their  subscriptions  3  weeks  ago — 
however  I  entreated  them  to  do  so. 

But  there  is  not  only  great  excitement  here, — great 
sorrow  and  perplexity  also,  and  discomfort.  And,  it 
seems  to  me,  unless  you  governing  folk  shew  a  little 
less  hard  redtapism  to  these  islands — verily,  their 
cession  will  be  a  millstone  about  the  neck  of  the 
liberal  party  for  long  days  to  come.  It  is  however 
so  very  difficult  to  gather  or  sift  untruth  from  truth, 
and  we  are  all  so  in  the  dark  as  to  what  is  to  take 
place,  that  it  is  simply  folly  to  talk  or  write.  Yet  it 
is  the  first  time  I  have  ever  seen  a  community  so 
singularly  and  uncomfortably  placed.  .  .  .  (Sir  H.  S. 
takes  10  copies  of  my  book,  which  is  highly  brick- 
like).  .  .  . 

298 


Last  Visit  to  Corfu 

15  January  1864. 

Feby.  7.  The  good  intents  of  the  above  date  never 
bore  fruit — an  unprolific  datetree.  .  .  .  On  Friday 
evening  the  Lord  High  sent  me  your  letters  of  the 
1 7th  and  26th,  so  I  shall  write  today  instead  of  going 
to  church,  relaxing  my  labour  from  time  to  time  by 
snatches  of  the  "  Daily  Telegraph,"  Kenan's  Jesus, 
Miss  Rowan's  Meditations  on  Death,  Newman's 
Phases  of  Faith,  Froude's  Elizabeth,  and  Colenso's 
4th  part.  And  the  better  my  beloved  brethren  to 
set  forth  the  varied  subjects  which  I  shall  bring  under 
your  consideration,  I  shall  first  proceed  to  look  through 
your  letter,  and  reply  more  or  less  to  the  heads  thereof. 

My  flight  it  seems  was  by  no  means  too  soon  .  .  . 
yet  after  7  months  of  darkness  and  filth  you  will  all  as 
usual  talk  about  the  "  climate  of  England "  as  the 
"best  in  the  world."  So  God  tempereth  the  wind  to 
the  shorn  lamb  :  so  the  Esquimaux  believes  that  train 
oil  is  before  all  food  the  most  excellent. 

Your  account  of  the  gaieties  at  Strawberry  Hill  are 
a  pleasant  contrast  to  the  misery  and  bitter  cold  one 
reads  of  all  over  the  kingdom.  .  .  .  The  dance  must 
have  looked  well.  .  .  ,  (Talking  of  dances,  the  last 
— 6  \ff\aroQ  \opoq — )  was  given  by  Sir  H.  S.  on  Friday 
night.  I  was  not  well  enough  to  go,  or  I  could  have 
well  liked  to  see  the  latest  sparks  of  Anglo- Corfiote 
gaiety  ere  all  goes  out  in  darkness.  .  .  . 

The  poor  Duke  of  Newcastle!  I  extracted  the 
lines  you  wrote  about  him,  and  sent  what  I  had 
copied  to  Sir  Henrv,  who  wrote  back  a  few  words  : 

299 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

he  is  much  distressed  about  the  Duke's  health.  I  had 
supposed  Lord  Wodehouse l  would  succeed  him. 
Who  would  be — if  any — the  House  of  Commons 
possible  Colonial  Secretary  ? 2  I  hope  whoever  he 
may  be  in  the  Peers,  that  you  will  keep  your  place : 
the  labor  which  that  involves  during  a  part  of  the 
year  is  in  my  humble  opinion  compensated  for  by 
other  good.  I  should  have  been  glad  to  see  you  a 
Cabinet  minister,  because  I  have  always  believed 
you  would  do  good  as  such.  What  does  my  lady 
say  ?  I  wish  she  had  a  more  decided  turn  for  colonial 
politics,  for  in  spite  of  H.I.M.  Nap.  3's  assertion  that 
it  is  the  mission  of  woman  to  think  of  God  and  not  of 
the  world,  I  believe  that  women  of  talent  do  and  can 
do — and  have  done,  a  vast  amount  of  good  in  the 
political  atmosphere.  (They  also  do  a  devilish  deal 
of  harm,  as  I  should  think  the  said  Emperor  knows 
well.)  However,  let  me  know  what  you  do.  Most 
probably  you  will  be  saved  any  decision  before  long, 
by  a  Derby  govt.  coming  in  for  a  time  :  tho'  after 
that,  Gladstone  is  the  coming  man  (&a  TO  tear  !/«).3 

You  ask  about  the  state  of  public  feeling  here,  a 
question  not  easy  to  answer.  The  decree  about  the 
non-destruction  of  the  forts  of  course  was  soothing, 
but — (I  judge  only  by  Lady  W.'s  talk,  as  she  seems 
to  me  ever  to  hold  a  brief  of  hatred  for  the  Greeks), 
they  say  "  no  thanks  to  the  English  for  that :  you 

1  Undersecretary  of  State  for  Foreign  Affairs,  1859-61. 

2  The  Duke  of  Newcastle  resigned  in  March  for  reasons  of 
health,  and  Mr.  Cardwell  succeeded  him.       3  According  to  me. 

300 


J    ? 


Last  Visit  to  Corfu 

wished  \.o  leave  the  place  in  ruin,  but  the  K.  of  Greece 
threatened  to  go  if  you  did,  and  you  were  forced 
to  give  way," — which  I  suppose  is  bosh.  Lady  W. 
denies  we  have  ever  done  any  good  here — but  when 
I  stop  this  nonsense  by  saying,  "  Well,  well,  at  all 
events  then  if  we  have  been  as  bad  as  you  say,  the 
ground  will  soon  be  cleared  of  us " — she  instantly 
turns  round  and  says  "  but  nobody  wants  you  to  go 
— your  going  will  occasion  great  misery  etc  :  etc  : " — 
"  Then  why  did  the  Ionian  Parliament  continually 
vote  for  annexation  ?  "  "  Parliament  indeed  !  "  she 
answers — "do  you  call  42  or  50  democrats  public 
opinion  ?  "  "  Then  why,"  say  I,  "  if  that  is  so  trifling, 
— why  did  not  the  lonians  prevent  its  eternal  repetition 
by  electing  other  deputati  ?  "  On  which  she  says  "  but 
do  take  some  coffee,"  and  twists  the  converse  all  awry. 
Meanwhile  the  cannon  are  all  taken  down  from  the 
Fort  Neuf  etc  :  etc  :  and  as  soon  as  the  6th  go  (under 
orders  for  Jamaica),  Vido  will  be  emptied  and  blown 
up — or  down.  There  are  however  many  who  have 
no  belief^,  all  in  our  ultimate  departure.  The  Turk 
Albanian  Beys  opposite  go  into  strong  convulsions  of 
laughter  at  the  idea,  (so  officers  tell  me  who  come  from 
Parga,  Delvino  etc  : )  and  a  mass  of  the  lower  orders 
here  also  do  not  credit  it,  but  believe  some  dodges  will 
turn  up  and  keep  us  in  the  islands, — or  at  all  events  in 
this  island.  On  the  other  hand,  dismay  and  distress 
pervade  whole  classes.  Domestic  servants,  yachtsmen, 
innkeepers,  small  shops  etc :  etc  :  see  before  them 
simply  blank  new  beginnings  of  life — how  or  where 

301 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

they  know  not.  My  man's  whole  family  think  of 
migrating  to  Patras,  or  the  Piraeus.  The  warlike 
Danish-German  news  of  the  last  few  days  r  compli- 
cates matters  still  more.  It  will  be  funny  if  war  with 
Austria  arises,  and  a  fleet  come  down  from  Cattaro 
and  chaw  us  up  suddenly,  when  the  guns  are 
gone. 

As  for  poor  Sir  Henry  Storks,  you  say  well,  he  will 
be  glad  to  go  indeed.  I  know  of  no  position  much 
sadder  than  his — for  nearly  five  years  working  hard 
always,  with  a  self-negation  and  conscientiousness  not 
to  be  surpassed.  Yet  it  may  be  truly  said  that  he  lives 
a  life  of  most  painful  loneliness,  all  the  more  dreary 
that  his  efforts  to  do  right  as  a  public  man  have  been 
met  with  such  small  appreciation  by  the  British  fool, 
— not  to  say  by  abuse  from  those  who  should  have 
known  better  than  to  make  grave  matters  of  right 
and  wrong,  handles  for  mere  party  violence.  The 
2  A.D.C.s  (Baring2  and  Strahan3)  are  valuable  to 
Sir  H.  S.,  but,  tho'  very  clever,  they  are  young. 
/  think  that  any  letter  you  write  to  him  now  he  will 
be  pleased  with  :  the  Duke's  illness  affects  him,  and 
he  seems  to  me  to  feel  any  kindness  coming  from 

1  The    dispute    about    the    Schleswig-Holstein    succession, 
plunged  Denmark  into  war  with  Germany  and  Austria  in  the 
spring  of  this  year,  and  for  a  time  there  was  a  fear  that  England 
might  also  be  involved. 

2  Now  Lord  Cromer,  whose  later  history  has  been  the  history 
of  Egypt. 

3  Afterwards  Governor  of  Tasmania,  the  Windwards  Isles, 
&c.,  &c. 

3O2 


Last  Visit  to  Corfu 

England ;  and  I  think  too  that  much  which  has  been 
said  and  written  of  him  by  people — or  with  the  know- 
ledge of  people  who  were  once  his  friends,  has  hurt 
him  at  times  a  good  deal.  So,  q.e.d. — as  you  say — 
Storks  will  be  glad  to  get  away.  .  .  . 

My  life  here  (barring  blowing  my  nose  and  lying  in 
bed  ill,)  has  been  of  the  most  regular  order, — and  it  is 
a  grim  fact  that  never  more  when  I  go  hence  can 
I  look  for  similar — "there  is  no  joy  but  calm."  .  .  . 
Having  "  put  by  "  ^300 — £9  a  year  for  life  is  the 
result  of  my  labor — but  qua  ready  money,  and  the 
necessity  of  getting  it  by  work,  things  are  as  they 
were  before  the  fathers  fell  asleep.  .  .  . 

The  new  Italian  Consul's  wife  or  sister  plays  in  the 
most  beanlike  and  beneficial  manner.  By  April  or 
May  at  furthest,  I  shall  hope  to  be  fixed  as  to  fixing 
or  unfixing  :  perhaps  I  may  go  about  in  an  unfixed  mode 
continually  and  evermore.  What's  the  odds  ?  .  .  . 
The  two  or  three  months  of  hard  writing  before 
I  left  England  have  sickened  me  of  pen  and  ink, 
and  I  shall  henceforth  write  MUCH  LESS  than  formerly. 
Please  to  accept  this  as  a  nintimation  or  warning. 
Have  you  read  Abbe  Michaud's  "  Maudit"?  Burton's 
Abeokuta  ?  Speke's  Nile  ?  Froude's  Elizabeth  ? 
Kingsley's  Water  babies  ?  I  aive.  .  .  .  Catch  then  o 
catch  the  transient  owr,  improve  each  momient  as 
it  flies,  man's  a  short  summer  life's  a  flower,  he  dize 
alas  !  how  soon  e  dize.  Goodbye. 

P.S. — I  will  go  to  church  this  afternoon  to  pray 
that  your  toes  may  not  be  frozen  off,  and  that  it 

303 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

may  please  God  to  shew  you  the  sun  once  or  twice  in 
the  next  4  months. 

March  31.  1864  (6  a.m.) 

Your  letter  of  the  24th  came  yesterday,  and  I 
communicated  its  sad  contents  to  Sir  Henry.  Poor 
Duke  of  Newcastle !  A  life  of  no  great  joy  has  his 
been  : — I  am  all  the  more  interested  about  him  just 
now  that  I  have  been  reading  Kinglake's  Crimea.1 
But  who  would  be  Under-Secretary  if  Cardwell  2  is 
C.  O.  Secy  ?  I  had  fancied  at  times  that  in  that  case 
you  might  be  "called  to  the  Upper  House,"  and  keep 
your  place.  However,  as  at  no  very  great  distance 
there  must  be  still  greater  changes,  you  would  turn  up 
I  suppose  in  some  fresh  formation  of  a  Ministry.  I 
somehow  don't  like  your  sitting  down  at  41  into 
private  life — the  more  that  your  last  speech — as  I  read 
it  in  the  "  Times "  on  Gregory's  motion,  was  about 
the  best  I  think  you  ever  made. 

I  don't  ever  wonder  at  your  not  writing.  I  only 
wonder  anybody  ever  writes  at  all.  For  myself  I  have 
had  such  a  dreadful  dose  of  it  last  year  about  that 
book,  and  am  still  hopelessly  endeavouring  to  get 
in  subscriptions,  that  I  abhor  the  sight  of  a  pen,  and  if 
I  were  an  angel  I  would  immediately  moult  all  my 
quills  for  fear  of  their  being  used  in  calligraphy.  .  .  . 

1  The  Duke  of  Newcastle  undertook  the  charge  of  the  War 
Department  when  the  Crimean  War  broke  out. 

2  W.  E.  Forster  and  Sir  F.  L.  Rogers  were  the  Under- Secre- 
taries when    Mr.   Cardwell  was  at    the  head  of  the  Colonial 
Office. 

304 


Last  Visit  to  Corfu 

My  beautiful  rooms  are  already  taken  by  others, — 
so  there  is  an  end  of  Corfu  life,  and  this  is  the  last 
letter  you  will  most  probably  ever  receive  from  the 
Island. 

I  am  not  yet  certain  if  I  shall  go  straight  to  Athens 
and  then  .  .  .  return  to  Syra  and  so  to  Crete.  .  .  . 
After  some  6  or  7  weeks  in  Crete,  I  should  in  any 
case  return  to  Athens,  and  there  look  about  for 
a  possible  winter  home.  .  .  .  To  make  a  future  winter 
settlement  nearer  England  is  difficult  Nice  is 
crowded  and  Anglo-vulgar  :  Rome  and  its  priests, 
as  well  as  its  forced  art-quackery  atmosphere  I 
detest.  .  .  .  You  see  therefore  that  as  the  little  fish 
said  in  the  Pacific, — I  am  at  sea : — nor  will  much 
more  be  assured  till  I  have  been  to  visit  the  owls  of 
Minerva. 

And  indeed  glad  shall  I  be  to  go.  The  place  is 
all  altered  and  sad — and  there  is  no  pleasure  to  me  in 
seeing  the  daily  explosions  and  ruins  of  fine  masonry 
and  picturesque  lines.  Moreover  the  angry  and 
violent  feeling  against  everything  English  is  disagree- 
able, tho'  it  is  not  so  general  as  it  seems.  You  know 
I  dare  say  that  the  Bishop  (always  the  prime  agitator 
for  the  Union,)  is  now  the  head  of  a  very  ferocious 
Club, — who  are  publishing  a  paper  of  the  utmost 
virulence  against  us, — calculated  to  stir  up  all  the 
idle  and  intriguing  in  our  disfavour.  Such  "  facts  "  as 
the  open  insulting  of  "  Greek "  women  on  the 
Esplanade  by  "  parties  of  brutal  English  sailors " 
might  excite  your  astonishment,  as  they  do  mine : — 

305  x 


Letters  of  Edward   Lear 

but  in  the  present  state  of  things  the  assertion  of  good 
old  Basilia  Kokali  (my  servant's  mother,)  that  in 
50  years  of  English  rule  she  has  never  known  one 
female  insulted  by  soldiers  or  sailors,  goes  for 
nothing. 

The  truth  seems  to  me  this :  A  great  party, 
naturally  regretting  the  English  going — and  more- 
over, another  party  who  desired  it  but  yet  justly 
appreciated  our  actions, — would  all  have  united  to 
make  public  demonstrations  of  respect  and  friend- 
liness etc :  on  our  leaving  the  island.  This  I  know 
to  be  the  case  from  various  people  who  declare  they 
are  grieved  that  they  cannot  now  make  any  manifes- 
tation in  our  favour.  The  handle  given  by  the 
Fortress  dismantling  to  the  democratic  party,  is 
therefore  one  I  believe  they  are  delighted  to  get. 
It  is  of  course  of  great  importance  to  the  annexation 
party  that  no  demonstration  in  an  opposite  sense,  or 
such  as  could  by  any  possibility  be  construed — should 
be  made  : — and  now  I  do  not  expect  any  one  will  dare 
openly  wish  us  *'  Godspeed." 

For  myself  I  avoid  as  much  as  I  can  speaking 
on  the  subject  at  all,  but  I  cannot  avoid  making 
allowances  for  those  who  are  constantly  having  the 
irritating  sight  of  the  forts  being  blown  up — now 
for  many  weeks  the  almost  daily  object — nor  can 
I  wonder  at  their  vexation  when  they  hear  of  parties 
going  over  "to  see  the  beautiful  blow  up,  "etc:  etc: 
When  I  am  forced  into  talking,  I  do  all  I  can — (as 
Mr.  Gregory  didn't)  to  show  them  how  far  better 

306 


Last  Visit  to  Corfu 

it  would  be  to  weigh  this  fortress  Wrong — if  wrong  it 
be — against  the  benefits  England  has  given  them, — a 
useless  task  however,  in  their  present  mood.  "  Do 
you  think"  said  one  to  me,  "that  if  you  give  me  a 
thousand  pounds,  and  then  box  my  ears,  that  the 
last  act  would  not  outweigh  the  first — although 
in  itself  the  last  is  trifling."  But  the  very  addition 
to  this  which  a  second  speaker  instantly  gave,  con- 
vinced me  that  I  am  right  in  believing  the  "  Fortress 
Question"  is  a  godsend  to  the  violent  party.  The 
speaker  was  an  amiable  man  and  desirous  of  softening 
down  his  friend's  observations.  "In  somma,"  said 
he,  "  la  politica  esige  che  si  alza  la  voce  contro 
1'Inghilterra."  l  It  is  I  think,  much  to  be  regretted 
that  this  "  alzando  la  voce "  was  so  supplied  them 
by  ourselves. 

Meanwhile  the  mass  of  the  people  behave  quite 
well,  and  individually  nothing  uncourteous  is  said 
or  done  to  anyone.  Sir  Henry  walks  about  every- 
where, and  is  treated  with  the  same  respect  as  ever. 
He  is  a  splendid  fellow,  and  has  a  most  difficult 
part  to  play — for  C.  and  others  nameless,  who 
should  work  with  him — are  against  him.  I  suppose 
you  will  make  him  a  "  Barnet "  as  Lady  Young  used 
to  say,  or  a  Peer  if  he  goes  to  any  higher  post. 
If  ever  he  goes  to  Ceylon  I  will  certainly  then  go  out 
to  India.  .  .  .  The  reports  here  of  all  possible  sorts 
are  endless  ;  Woodhouse,  Taylor  Sanders,  are  named 

1  "  In  short  politics  exact,  that  our  voices  should  be  raised 
against  England." 

307 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

as  to  be  the  consul.  "  The  church  is  to  be  turned  into 
a  theatre  as  a  mark  of  disprezzo  "  etc :  So  you  see, 
the  place  is  all  breaking  up  and  blowing  up  and 
bebothered  and  boshed. 

.  .  .  Poor  Christo  Kokali,  my  man's  brother,  ill  of 
consumption  for  four  years,  has  now  it  seems  really 
taken  to  die.  And  George  has  therefore  a  double 
journey  to  his  mother's  daily,  and  to  sit  up  all  night — 
besides  the  lots  of  rough  extra  work  all  this  "exodus" 
begets.  Thunderstorms  and  violent  squalls  make  life 
disgusting  :  add  also  that  a  gas  company  has  turned 
up  all  the  streets  for  pipes,  and  as  I  fall  into  the 
beastly  trenches,  I  can  say  truly  "you  have  piped  unto 
me,  but  I  have  not  danced."  .  .  .  Goodbye,  my  last 
furniture  is  going.  I  shall  sit  upon  an  eggcup  and 
eat  my  breakfast  with  a  pen.  .  .  . 

HOTEL  DE  LA  COURONNE.    ATHENS. 

April  8  1864. 

I  hope  you  got  a  letter  from  me  just  before  I  left 
Corfu, — of  which  place  I  am  now  cut  adrift,  though 
I  cannot  write  the  name  without  a  sort  of  pang. 
Nothing  could  be  sadder  or  more  painful  and  vexing 
than  the  latter  days  I  passed  there.  Everyone  either 
miserable  for  going  away — or  miserable  at  being 
left  :  while  angry  passions  and  suppressed  violence 
were  abundant,  The  brutal  old  Dandolo  l  put  forth 
— three  days  before  I  came  off — the  foulest  pamphlet 

1  One  of  the  leaders  of  the  extreme  Radicals  and  Anglophobes 
in  the  Ionian  Parliament. 

308 


Last  Visit  to  Corfu 

against  England  a  man  could  read,  (dated  of  course 
prior  to  the  explanatory  discussion  in  the  House 
though  he  knew  very  well  doubtless  that  he  was 
writing  lies)  You  may  judge  of  the  tone  of  this  letter 
(to  Lord  Russell),  when  I  tell  you — besides  that  it 
touched  on  all  the  crimes,  real  and  imputed,  which 
have  been  considered  English  for  centuries  of  history 
— that  its  last  words  are — "  we  lonians  thank  you 
that  you  have  left  us  our  hands  and  tongues  ;  with  the 
one  to  write  your  infamy — with  the  other  to  utter 
threefold  curses  on  your  head."  Poor  Lord  John  ! 
I  hope  he  will  survive  that. 

April  24,  1864.  KHALIFA,  NEAR  KHANIA,  CRETE. 
I  was  not  able  to  finish  this  letter  before  I  left 
Athens  .  .  .  Before  I  left  Corfu  I  was  quite  sure  that 
a  great — the  greatest  part — of  the  ill-feeling  against 
us  was  brought  out  by  the  insidious  ways  of  certain 
people.  No  governor  of  a  province  has  ever  had 
a  harder  task  than  Sir  H.  Storks,  whose  conduct  has 
been  in  all  respects  A.  No.  i  as  Lord  High  Com- 
missioner,— and  I  shall  always  remember  his  kindness 
to  me  gratefully. 


THE    END. 


309 


APPENDIX 


The  following  is  an  incomplete  list,  for  several  pictures  painted  for  my  uncle  and  aunt, 
Lord  Clermont,  and  Sir  Spencer  Robinson  are  not  included,  and  probably  many 
others  of  which  I  do  not  know,  are  also  missing.  This  list,  I  believe,  was  drawn  up 
by  Mr.  Lear  at  San  Remo  for  circulation  among  his  friends  and  others,  partly  by 
way  of  advertisement,  and  partly  to  give  an  idea  of  the  work  he  had  executed  and 
the  patronage  he  had  received.  At  this  present  time  very  few,  if  any,  of  those 
named  survive,  but  I  have  wished  to  reproduce  this  list  exactly  from  the  original, 
made  in  1877,  by  Mr.  Lear. 


PICTURES   PAINTED,  1840-1877. 
(1840) 

Painted  for,  or  Purchased  by 

1.  Rome,  from  the  Lateran      The  late  R.  A.  Hornby,  Esq. 

2.  Valmontone The  late  Lord  Charles  Bertie  Percy. 

3.  Rome.     Borghese  Gardens  Mrs.  Pitney  Martin. 

4.  Rome.     Arco  Oscuro          Mrs.  Pitney  Martin. 

5.  Civitella  di  Subiaco Edward,  Thirteenth  Earl  of  Derby. 

6.  Olevano         Edward,  Thirteenth  Earl  of  Derby. 

(1841) 

7.  Rome,  from  the  Lateran      Lord  Crewe. 

8.  Rome.     Gardens  of  St.  Buenaventura      . . .  Lord  Crewe. 

9.  Rome.     Tomb  on  the  Campagna Lord  Crewe. 

10.  Lord  Crewe. 

ii-  Lord  Crewe. 

12.  Lord  Crewe. 

13.  Rome.     Tomb  near  Porta  Pia       Thomas  Tatton,  Esq. 

14.  Rome.     View  from  Monte  Mario Thomas  Tatton,  Esq. 

15.  Olevano         T.  Bonham  Carter,  Esq. 

16.  St.  Peter's,  from  D.  Pamfili  Gardens        ...  The  late  Lord  Wenlock. 
17-  Licenza          Rev.  W.  H.  Empson. 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 


(1842) 

Painted  for,  or  Purchased  by 

18.  Rome.     Via  Appia Mrs.  Hudson. 

19.  Rome.     Claudian  Acqueduct          Ralph  Barnes,  Esq. 

20.  Rome.     Cecilia  Metella      The  late  Lady  Hornby. 

21.  Rome.     Tor  di  Schiavi       The  late  Lady  Hornby. 

22.  Rome.     Tor  di  Schiavi       The  late  T.  G.  Fonnereau,  Esq. 

23.  Naples  The  late  George  Cartwright,  Esq. 

24.  Amalfi  The  late  George  Cartwright,  Esq. 

25.  Amalfi  The  late  George  Cartwright,  Esq. 

26.  Cefalu.     Sicily         The  late  Colonel  C.  Hornby. 

27.  Rome.     Campagna  ...         ...         ...         ...  W.  Hives,  Esq. 

28.  Rome.    Tomb  near  Porta  Pia       Rev.  E.  Goddard. 

29.  Rome.    View  from  Monte  Mario Rev.  E.  Goddard. 

(1843) 

30.  Civitella  di  Subiaco The  late  Rev.  James  J.  Hornby. 

31.  Civita  Castellana      The  late  Rev.  James  J.  Hornby. 

32.  LakeofAlbano         The  late  George  Cartwright,  Esq. 

33.  LakeofAlbano         The  late  George  Cartwright,  Esq. 

34.  Lake  of  Fucino,  Abruzzi     The  late  M.  J.  Higgins,  Esq. 

35.  Rome.     Claudian  Acqueduct         The  late  M.  J.  Higgins,  Esq. 

36.  Isola  di  Monte  Corno,  Abruzzi      Miss  Westcomb. 

37.  Nemi Miss  Westcomb. 

38.  San  Pelino.     Abruzzi          ...        Lord  Wenlock. 

(1844) 

39.  Celano.    Abruzzi     .„         Lord  Wenlock. 

40.  Monreale.     Sicily     ...        The  late  Mrs.  Huskisson. 

41.  Partenigo.     Sicily The  late  Mrs.  Huskisson. 

42.  Quarries  of  Syracuse  ...         ...         ...  The  late  Mrs.  Huskisson. 

43.  Valmontone The  late  C.  Scrace  Dickens,  Esq. 

44.  San  Vito        The  late  C.  Scrace  Dickens,  Esq. 

45.  Frascati          Miss  Sarah  Markham. 

46.  Pergolata,  or  Vine  Terrace Mrs.  Palmes. 

(1845) 

47.  Valmontone Hon.  Mrs.  Greville-Howard. 

48.  Rome.     La  Madonna  del  Sorbo    ...         ...  Hon.  Mrs.  Greville-Howard. 

49.  Rome.     Claudian  Acqueducts        ...         ...  Samuel  Gurney,  Esq. 

50.  Rome.     Tiber  and  Via  Salara        The  late  John  Battersby  Harford,  Esq. 

51.  Rome.     Veii The  late  Earl  Canning. 

52.  Naples  Earl  of  Dudley. 

(1846) 

53.  Tivoli  E.  Carleton  Holmes,  Esq. 

54.  Caprarola       Thomas  Bell,  Esq. 

55.  Rome.     Tor  Sant  'Eusebio The  late  General  Rawdon. 

312 


Appendix 


Painted  for,  or  Purchased  by 

56.  Girgenti.    Sicily       The  late  John  S.  Harford,  Esq. 

57.  Antrodoco.    Abruzzi  The    late    Dowager    Marchioness 

Ormonde. 

58.  Pescina.     Abruzzi T.  Gambier  Parry,  Esq. 

(1847) 

59.  Palermo.    Sicily       The  late  Peter  F.  Andre,  Esq. 

60.  LakeofNemi  The  late  Mrs.  Huskisson. 

61.  Cerbara  di  Subiaco The  late  Mrs.  Huskisson. 

62.  Rome.     Madonna  di  Divin'  Amore          ...  The  late  Baroness  Windsor. 

63.  Rome.     Via  Tiburtina         Charles  Henry,  Esq. 

64    Rome.    Claudian  Acqueducts        Charles  Henry,  Esq. 

65.  Arundel          Henry  Willett,  Esq. 

66.  Tivoli.     Villa  d'Este  Mrs.  R.  Markham. 

67.  Civitella  di  Subiaco Sir  Francis  H.  Goldsmid,  Bart.,  M.P. 

68.  Rome.     Via  Cassia The  late  William  Earle,  Esq. 

69.  Tivoli  Mrs.  Hornby. 

70.  Rome.     Veii  J.  Ridgway,  Esq. 

71.  Rome.     Via  Cassia J.  Ridgway,  Esq. 

(1849) 

72.  Mount  Sinai Rev.  John  E.  Cross. 

73.  Rome.     Claudian  Acqueducts       ...        .,  John  G.  Blencowe,  Esq. 

74.  Rome.     Claudian  Acqueducts        The  late  Miss  Duckworth. 

75.  Akhrida.     Albania The  late  Miss  Duckworth. 

76.  Karytena.     Greece Thomas  Bell,  Esq. 

(1850) 

77.  Athens.    The  Acropolis      Edward,  Thirteenth  Earl  of  Derby. 

78.  Corfu Lord  Wenlock. 

(1851) 

79.  Athens  Lord  Wenlock. 

80.  Sparta  Lord  Wenlock. 

81.  Girgenti.     Sicily      Thomas  H.  Wyatt,  Esq. 

82.  Monastery  of  Meteora         Henry  Willett,  Esq. 

83.  Pentedatelo.     Calabria        Sybilla,  Lady  Lyttelton. 

84.  Parnassus       The  late  Richard,  First  Lord  Westbury. 

85.  Rome.     Via  Appia William  Langton,  Esq. 

86.  Mount  Tomohr.     Albania Louisa,  Lady  Ashburton. 

(1852) 

87.  Rome,  near  Ponte  Mammolo         Lady  Caroline  Legge. 

88.  Rome.    Crescenza,  or  Poussin's  Castle    ...  Mrs.  E.  Blackmore. 

89.  Taormina.     Sicily The  Hon.  Mrs.  Greville-Howard. 

90.  Venosa.    Apulia      The  late  Mrs.  Empson. 

313 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

Painted  for,  or  Purchased  by 

91.  Reggio.     Calabria  ............  Mrs.  William  Rawson. 

92.  Thermopyloe.     Greece       .........  The  late  William  F.  Beadon,  Esq. 

93.  Athens         ...............  The  late  G.  R.  Smith,  Esq. 

94.  Argostoli.     Kephalonia     .........  Rev.  H.  P.  Wright. 

95.  Marathon.     Greece  .........  Mrs.  George  Clive. 

96.  Quarries  of  Syracuse,  Sicily          ......  Alfred  Tennyson,  Esq.,  Poet  Laureate, 

&c. 

97.  Quarries  of  Syracuse,  Sicily.     (Art  Union 

Prize)        ...............     Earl  of  Beauchamp. 


98.  Mount  Sinai  ............  T.  Gambier  Parry,  Esq. 

99.  Civitella  di  Subiaco,  looking  South         ...  Lord  Carlingford. 

100.  Windsor  Castle        ............  Edward,  Fourteenth  Earl  of  Derby. 

101.  Nile,  Philce,  looking  South  ......  Alfred  Seymour,  Esq. 

102.  Nile,  Kom  Ombos  ............  Earl  of  Northbrook. 

(1854) 

103.  On  the  Nile  ...............  S.  W.  Clowes,  Esq.,  M.P. 

104.  On  the  Nile  ...............  S.  W.  Clowes,  Esq.,  M.P. 

105.  The  Jungfrau,  Interlaken  .........  S.  W.  Clowes,  Esq.,  M.P. 

106.  El  Koorneh  —  Thebes         .........  Mrs.  George  Scrivens. 

107.  Pyramids  of  Ghizeh  .........  The  late  Frederick  North,  Esq.,  M.P. 

108.  Pyramids  of  Ghizeh  .........  The  late  Frederick  North,  Esq.,  M.P. 

109.  Monastir.     Macedonia      .........  S.  W.  Clowes,  Esq.,  M.P. 

no.  Licenza        ...         ............  Lord  Aberdare. 

in.  Rome.     Via  Nomentana  .........  S.  W.  Clowes,  Esq.,  M.P. 

112.  Temple  of  Bassse.     Greece  ......  Fitzwilliam  Museum,  Cambridge. 

(1855) 

113.  The  Matterhorn      ............  Bernard  Husey-Hunt,  Esq. 

114.  Nile.     Philce,  Morning,  looking  South  ...  The  late  Sir  John  Potter,  M.P. 

115.  Nile.     Philce,  Morning,  looking  South  ...  Mrs.  George  Scrivens. 

116.  Nile.     Philce,  looking  North        ......  The  late  William  Nevill,  Esq. 

117.  Civitella  di  Subiaco,  Sunrise        ......  The  late  William  Nevill,  Esq. 

(1856) 

118.  Nile.     Philce,  looking  West          ......  Henry  F.  Walter,  Esq. 

119.  Nile.     Philce,  Morning,  looking  South  ...  George  Clive,  Esq.,  M.P. 

120.  Parnassus     ...............  Franklin  Lushington,  Esq. 

121.  Nile.     Philce,  Sunset,  looking  South      ...  Franklin  Lushington,  Esq. 

122.  Nile.     Philce,  Sunset,  looking  South      ...  The  late  Lord  Lisgar. 

123.  Nile.     Phiice,  Sunset,  looking  South      ...  Lord  Carlingford. 

124.  Nile.     Kasr  es  Saad          .........  The  late  Sir  John  Simeon,  Bart.,  M.P. 

125.  Corfu,  from  Kastrades       .........  Robert  D.  Drewitt,  Esq. 

314 


Appendix 


126.  Corfu,  from  Ascension. 

127.  Corfu,  from  Gastouri 

128.  Corfu,  from  Gastouri 


Painted  for,  or  Purchased  by 
Morning          ...     Lady  Reid. 

The  late  General  Mackintosh. 

The  late  General  Mackintosh. 


129.  Corfu, 

130.  Corfu, 

131.  Mount 

132.  Corfu, 

133.  Mount 

134.  Corfu, 

135.  Corfu, 

136.  Mount 

137.  Philoe, 


(1857) 


from  Ascension,  Evening 
from  below  Ascension 

Athos          

from  Gastouri 

Athos  

from  Ascension 
from  Ascension 
Athos.     Stavronikites 
Sunset,  looking  South 


T.  William  Evans,  Esq.,  M.P. 

Alfred  Seymour,  Esq. 

The  late  Frederick  North,  Esq.,  M.P. 

Henry  F.  Walter,  Esq. 

The  late  John  Battersby  Harford,  Esq. 

The  late  John  Batterbsy  Harford,  Esq. 

The  late  Mrs.  Empson. 

The  late  Mrs.  Empson. 

Edgar  A.  Drummond,  Esq. 


(1858) 


138.  Zagori,  Albania       Julian  Goldsmid,  Esq.,  M.P. 

139.  Philiates,  Albania Thomas  H.  Wyatt,  Esq. 

140.  Constantinople        ...         ...         ...         ...  A.  De  Vere  Beauclerk,  Esq. 

141.  Mount  Athos.     St.  Paul A.  De  Vere  Beauclerk,  Esq. 

142.  Mount  Athos,  Iviron          A.  De  Vere  Beauclerk,  Esq. 

143.  Nile.     Philce,  Sunset,  looking  South      ...  Augustus  Chetwode,  Esq. 

144.  Corfu,  from  Garuna  ...         ...         ...  Edward  Baring,  Esq. 

145.  Corfu,  from  Kastrades       Franklin  Lushington,  Esq. 

146.  Corfu,  from  below  Ascension        Franklin  Lushington,  Esq. 

147.  Joannina.     Albania  The  late  Sir  John  Simeon,  Bart.,  M.P. 

148.  Jerusalem,  Sunrise The  late  Sir  James  Reid. 

149.  Jerusalem,  Sunset Frances,  Countess  Waldegrave. 

150.  Masada,  on  the  Dead  Sea,  Sunset  ...  Frances,  Countess  Waldegrave. 

151.  Nile.     Philoe,  looking  South,  Sunset      ...  The  late  Captain  Huish. 

152.  Jerusalem,  Sunset Bernard  Husey-Hunt,  Esq. 

153.  Bethlehem Bernard  Husey-Hunt,  Esq. 

154.  Jerusalem Lord  Clermont. 

(1859) 

155.  Mount  Athos Lord  Clermont. 

156.  Corfu,  from  Ascension       T.  Bailey  Potter,  Esq.,  M.P. 

157.  Mount  Athos.     Pantokratora        T.  Bailey  Potter,  Esq.,  M.P. 

158.  Corfu,  from  Ascension ...  The  late  S.  Price  Edwards,  Esq. 

159.  Petra.     The  Theatre          ...         .-         ...  The  late  S.  Price  Edwards,  Esq. 

160.  Rome.     Claudian  Acqueducts      Arthur  Heywood,  Esq. 

161.  Petra.     The  Great  Cliff Sir  Thomas  Fairbairn,  Bart. 

162.  Parnassus      Earl  of  Northbrook. 

163.  loannina.     Albania  Miss  Yates 

164.  Rome.     Via  Appia Captain  R.  O'B.  Jameson. 

165.  Palermo       Lord  Carlingford. 

3IS 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

(1860) 

Painted  for,  or  Purchased  by 

166.  Palermo        ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  William  R.  Sandbach,  Esq. 

167.  Palermo       T.  Bailey  Potter,  Esq.,  M.P. 

168.  MarSabbas...         ...         ...         ...         ...  The  late  Captain  Huish. 

169.  Rome.     Quarries  of  Cerbara         F.  Waymouth  Gibbs,  Esq. 

170.  The  Dead  Sea         George  Clive,  Esq.,  M.P. 

171.  Parnassus     ...  '       Harvie  Farquhar,  Esq. 

172.  Parnassus Lord  Clermont. 

173.  Parnassus Lord  Aberdare. 

174.  Rome.     Alexandrian  Acqueducts  ...  Henry  R.  Stansfeld,  Esq. 

175.  Rome.     The  Tiber  at  Ponte  Molle         ...  Henry  R.  Stansfeld,  Esq. 

176.  Rome.     Quarries  of  Cerbara         Richard  Bright,  Esq.,  M.P. 

177.  Rome.    The  Tiber  at  Ponte  Molle         ...  S.  F.  Widdington,  Esq. 

178.  Nuneham  Park,  Oxford     Frances,  Countess  Waldegrave. 

179.  Nuneham  Park,  Oxford Frances,  Countess  Waldegrave. 

(1861) 

180.  Bethlehem S.  Price  Edwards,  Esq. 

181.  Interlaken T.  William  Evans,  Esq.,  M.P. 

182.  Beirut  Edgar  A.  Drummond,  Esq. 

183.  Damascus Thelate Humphrey Mildmay,Esq., M.P. 

184.  Masada,  on  the  Dead  Sea,  Sunrise          ...  Sybilla,  Lady  Lyttelton. 

185.  Cedars  of  Lebanon Louisa,  Lady  Ashburton. 

186.  Villa  Petraja,  Florence       Frances,  Countess  Waldegrave. 

187.  Schloss  Elz.     Moselle       ...         ...         ...  Mrs.  Scrivens. 

188.  Mount  Athos  Mrs.  Scrivens. 

189.  The  Plain  of  Thebes          The  late  W.  Whitmore,  Esq. 

190.  The  Plain  of  Thebes          George  Clive,  Esq.,  M.P. 

191.  The  Dead  Sea        Lord  Clermont. 

192.  The  Matterhorn      Franklin  Lushington,  Esq. 

193.  loannina.     Albania  ...         Capt.  R.  O'B.  Jameson. 

(1862) 

194.  Florence       Sir  Thomas  Fairbairn,  Bart. 

195.  Mount  Athos.     S.  Dionisio          Sir  Francis  H.  Goldsmid,  Bart. 

196.  Nile.     Philoe,  Sunset,  looking  South      ...  Henry  R.  Grenfell,  Esq. 

197.  Turin  The  late  S.  Price  Edwards,  Esq. 

198.  Corfu,  from  Ascension       Admiral  Sir  R.  Spencer  Robinson. 

199.  Lake  of  Butrinto.    Albania          Dowager  Viscountess  Downe. 

200.  Corfu,  from  Ascension       A.  H.  Novelli,  Esq. 

201.  Corfu,  from  Ascension      The  late  Miss  Julia  Goldsmid. 

202.  Corfu,  from  Ascension       Major  P.  A.  Reynolds. 

203.  loannina.     Albania  Sir  Thomas  Fairbairn,  Bart. 

204.  Nile.    Philce,  Sunset,  looking  West       ...  H.R.II.  Due  d'Aumale. 

205.  Mount  Olympus.    Thessaly         ...         ...  Edgar  A.  Drummond,  Esq. 

206.  Corfu,  from  Gastouri          Mrs.  W.  Prescott. 

207.  Corfu,  from  Ascension      Mrs.  W.  Prescott. 

316 


Appendix 


Painted  for,  or  Purchased  by 

208.  Corfu,  from  below  Ascension       Rev.  John  E.  Cross. 

209.  Corfu,  from  Psorarus          ...         ...         ...  Admiral  Sir  Spencer  Robinson. 

210.  Corfu,  from  Santa  Dekka  ...         ...         ...  Rev.  John  E.  Cross. 

211.  Mont  Blanc.     Pont  Pellissar         Charles  S.  Roundell,  Esq. 

212.  The  Dead  Sea         Charles  S.  Roundell,  Esq. 

213.  Porto  Tre  Scoglie.     Albania         Franklin  Lushington,  Esq. 

214.  Beachy  Head  Henry  R.  Grenfell,  Esq. 

215.  Argostoli.     Kephalonia     Lord  Aberdare. 

216.  Campagna  di  Roma,  Via  Prenestina       ...  Sir  Walter  James,  Bart. 

217.  Campagna  di  Roma,  Tor  de  'Schiavi      ...  Frances,  Countess  Waldegrave. 

218.  Jerusalem,  from  Mount  Scopus The  late  S.  Price  Edwards,  Esq. 

219.  Venice          Frances,  Countess  Waldegrave. 

220.  Venice,  Sunset         Henry  Willett,  Esq. 

221.  Beirut          Rev.  J.  Lomax  Gibbs. 

222.  Beirut  Rev.  John  E.  Cross. 

223.  Cliffs  of  Cenc,  Gozo          Charles  S.  Roundell,  Esq. 

224.  Campagna  di  Roma  Sybilla,  Lady  Lyttelton. 

225.  Campagna  di  Roma  ...         ...         ...  Sybilla,  Lady  Lyttelton. 

226.  Cedars  of  Lebanon Charles  S.  Roundell,  Esq. 

(1869) 

227.  Piana  Rocks,  Corsica        Sir  Francis  H.  Goldsmid,  Bart.,  M. P. 

228.  Bavella,  Corsica      ...         ...         ...         ...  Sir  Francis  H.  Goldsmid,  Bart.,  M.P. 

229.  Valdoniello,  Corsica  George  S.  Venables,  Esq.,  M.P. 

230.  Bonifazio,  Corsica Edward,  Fifteenth  Earl  of  Derby. 

231.  Nile.  Sheikh  Abadeh         Lady  Robinson. 

232.  Nile.    Kasr  es  Saad          ...         George  Brightwen,  Esq. 

(1871) 

233.  Nile.    Negadeh      Miss  Ewart. 

234.  Nile.     Bab  el  Kalabshe Miss  C.  Macdonald  Lockhart. 

235.  Nile.     El  Luxor Rev.  Walter  Clay. 

236.  Citadel  of  Corfu      Walter  Evans,  Esq. 

(1872) 

237.  Nile  Boat,  before  Sunrise Mr.  Hooper. 

238.  Nile  Boat,  Mid-day  George  Drummond,  Esq. 

239.  Corfu,  from  Ascension      Edward,  Fifteenth  Earl  of  Derby. 

240.  Campagna  di  Roma.    Quarries  of  Cerbara  Walter  Congreve,  Esq. 

241.  Campagna  di  Roma.    Quarries  of  Cerbara  Walter  Congreve,  Esq. 

242.  Marathon.    Greece  Right  Honourable  W.  E.  Forster,  M.P- 

243.  Thermopylae.    Greece       Augustus  Harcourt,  Esq. 

244.  Corfu  Citadel          Henry  Kneeshaw,  Esq. 

245.  Florence       Mrs.  Ramsay. 

246.  Mount  Sinai C.  Allanson  Knight,  Esq. 

247.  Damascus Duke  of  Argyll. 

248.  Beirut  Mrs.  William  Rawson. 

317 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 

,  Painted  for,  or  Purchased  by 

249.  Ravenna  Forest      Charles  S.  Roundell,  Esq. 

250.  Vintimiglia George  Nicholl,  Esq. 

251.  Nile.     Kasr  es  Saad          Captain  Alfred  M.  Drummond. 

252.  Nile.     Ibreem         T.  William  Evans,  Esq.,  M.P. 

253.  Nile.     Sunset.     First  Cataract     Ernest  Noel,  Esq.,  M.P. 

254.  Palermo        ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  Edgar  A.  Drummond,  Esq. 

255.  Nile.     Shadoofs      Thomas  Seeley,  Esq.,  M.P. 

256.  Nile.     Sakkias        Thomas  Seeley,  Esq.,  M.P. 

257.  Nile.     Kasr  es  Saad          Louisa,  I^ady  Ashburton, 

258.  Coast  of  Albania     

259.  Corfu  Franklin  Lushington,  Esq. 

260.  Corfu  Franklin  Lushir.gton,  Esq. 

261.  Megaspelion.     Greece       Thomas  Hanbury,  Esq. 

262.  Bethlehem C.  Allanson  Knight,  Esq. 

263.  Nile.     Approach  to  Philce  Miss  C.  Macdonald  Lockhart. 

264.  Nile.     Sunset,  near  Philoe  Captain  Alfred  M.  Drummond. 

265.  Valdoniello 

266.  Bethlehem 

267.  Bavella 

268.  Nile.    Approach  to  Philoe  Louisa,  Lady  Ashburton. 

269.  Nile.     Sunset,  near  Philoe  Franklin  Lushington,  Esq. 

270.  Blue  Grotto.     Capri          W.  Arnold  Congreve,  Esq. 

271.  Rome.    Via  Appia Hubert  Congreve,  Esq. 

272.  Pyramids  of  Ghizeh  ...         ...         ...  Earl  of  Northbrook. 

273-  Pyramids  of  Ghizeh  Earl  of  Northbrook. 

274.  Plains  of  Bengal Earl  of  Northbrook. 

275.  Kinchingunga         Lord  Aberdare. 

276.  Kinchingunga          Louisa,  Lady  Ashburton 

277.  Nile.     Pharaoh's  Bed         

278.  Nile.     Approach  to  Philoe  

279.  Mont  Blanc.    Col  de  Balme        

280.  Mont  Blanc.    Cormayeur 

281.  Mont  Blanc.     Mer  de  Glace        

282.  Dead  Sea,  from  Masada 

283.  Cedars  of  Lebanon  

284.  Rome.     Buon  Ricovero     

285.  Rome.    Via  Nomentana 

286.  Nile.     Moonlight 

287.  Pisa 

288.  Lerici  

289.  Mount  Hermon      

290.  Mount  Athos          

291.  Bavella.    Corsica 

292.  Parga  


318 


Appendix 


THIS  IS  AN  INCOMPLETE  LIST  OF  THE  WORKS 
LEAR  ILLUSTRATED 

Illustrations  of  the  Family  of  the  Psittacida; 1832 

J.  Gould's  Indian  Pheasants      1832 

Gould's  European  Birds  and  Toucans... 
Testudinata,  for  Professor  Bell 

Bell's  British  Mammalia  \.  ...      from  1833  to  1836 

The  volumes  of  Parrots,  Monkeys,  Cats,  of  the 

"Naturalist's  Library,"  editor  S.  W.  Jardine 

Views  of  Rome  and  its  Environs.     Two  vols.            1841 

Journal  of  a  Landscape  Painter  in  Albania  * 1851 

Journal  of  a  Landscape  Painter  in  Calabria  *...         ...         ...         ...         ...  1852 

J.  E.  Gray's  Gleanings  from  the  Menagerie  at  Knowsley  Hall  (the  bird 

portion)         ...         ...         ...         ...          ...         ...         ...         ...         ...  1846 

First  Book  of  Nonsense  *          1846 

Second  Book  of  Nonsense  *       1846 

Views  of  the  Ionian  Islands  * 1863 

Journal  of  a  Landscape  Painter  in  Corsica  * 1870 

More  Nonsense  Pictures,  Rhymes,  Botany,  &c.  *     1872 

Laughable  Lyrics  :  a  fourth  Book  of  Nonsense,  &c.  *          1877 

After  Lear's  death. 

Brought  out  by  Lord  Tennyson. 

Poems  by  Alfred  Lord  Tennyson.     Illustrated  by  Edward  Lear 1889 

The  above  list  of  publications  were  all  illustrated  by  Lear,  but  those  marked 
with  an  asterisk  were  also  written  by  him.  In  the  capacity  of  an  author,  what 
is  said  of  him  in  the  preface  to  ' '  Poems  by  Alfred  Lord  Tennyson  "  is  true  : 
"Had  Lear  not  been  a  painter,  he  might  have  been  a  popular  and  voluminous 
author  of  books  of  a  high  and  sterling  literary  value.  They  varv  personal 
adventure,  gracefully  told,  with  genuine  research  on  topics  of  historical  and 
antiquarian  interest."  These  Journals,  which  are  amusing  and  excellent  reading, 
were  very  successful  in  their  day. 

Of  his  series  of  "  Nonsense,"  many  editions  have  appeared  since  their  first 
publication  by  Messrs.  Warne  &  Co.  in  1861,  and  I  may  mention  that  a  further 
one  is  now  being  printed  by  them. 


319 


INDEX 


ABERDARE,    Lord,   see    Bruce, 

Henry 
Academy,    Royal,   Lear    joins 

the  schools,  22,  23 
Albania,  Lear's  book  on,  xxix, 

19,22 

Albert,  Prince,  214 
Alfred,  Prince,  259,  260 
Ansted,  Professor,  275 
Antonelli,  Cardinal,  158 
Apulia,  3 
Ardee,  52  if. 
Ashburton,    Lady     (Miss   Mc- 

Kenzie),  117 
Athanasian  Creed,  the  138, 190, 

198 
Athos,  Mount,  38,  40  ff.,  43,  49, 

77 

D'Aumale,  Due,  36,  255,  261 
Avellino,  3 

BAALBEC,  109,  no 
Baring,  see  Cromer,  Earl  of 
Baring,    T.,    see    North  brook, 

first  Earl  of 
Basilicata,  3 

Bassae,  Lear's  picture  of,  155 
Beachy  Head,  248,  249 
Beadon,  Rev.  F.,  232 
Beattie,  Dr.,  102 
Beauclerk,    Aubrey  de    Vere, 

I31 
Beaufort,  Emily,  190,  193,  200 

Bell,  Professor,  xviii,  xxviii 
Bennett,  Rev.  W.  J.  E.,  30 
Bethell,  Lady,  118,  130 


Bethell,  Sir  Richard  (Lord 
Westbury),  27,  28,  140,  145, 
252,  253 

Bethlehem,  108 

Bizi,  Sir  Christopheros  and 
Lady  Kalikopolos  Biletti,  259 

"Book  of  Nonsense,  The," 
xiii,  xxvi,  xxvii,  xxix,  xxx, 
180,  199,  205,  210,  212,  219, 

222, 263 

Bowen,  Sir  George  Ferguson, 

8,  9,  34,  39,  44,  5<>,  79,  131, 

271 
Bowyer,  Sir  George,  147,  165, 

218,  250 

Braham,  Charles,  36,  51 
Braham,  John,  35 
Braham,  Ward,  115,  218 
Braila,  Sir  Aristides  and  Lady, 

258 

Bright,  John,  146 
Bright,  Richard,  and  Mrs.,  126 
Brooke's  "  Borneo,"  28 
Brougham,  Lord,  201 
Browning,   Elizabeth    Barrett, 

128 

Browning,  Robert,  128,  169 
Browning  (son  of  Robert  and 

E.  B.  Browning),  193 
Bruce,  Colonel,  222,  269 
Bruce,  Henry  (Lord  Aberdare), 

59,  260 
Buller,  Sir  George  and  Lady, 

69,  78,  81,  88,  207,  223,  226, 

228 
Bunsen,  Baron  and  Baron  ess,  63 


321 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 


Bunsen,  Theodore,  73,  74,  79 
Burke,  Major,  Miss,  and  R.  6., 
245 

CALABRIA,  Lear's  tour  in,  i  ;  his 

volume  on,  xxix,  19 
Campbell,  Colonel,  73,  79,  81 
Canning,   Lady,  wife  of   Lord 

Canning,  211,  212 
Canning,   Lady,  wife    of    Sir 

Stratford  Canning,  12 
Canning,  Lord,  8,  118,  135 
Canning,     Sir    Stratford,     see 

Stratford  de  Redcliffe,  Lord 
Cardwell,  Edward,  300,  304 
Carlingford,     Lord,    see    For- 

tescue,  Chichester 
Carlisle,  seventh  Earl  of,  218 
Carlyle,  Thomas,  169,  170 
Carnarvon,  Lord,  91 
Carter,  Bonham,  7 
Caruso,  Sir  Gregory  and  Lady, 

258,  286,  288 
Casanova,  General,  256 
Castel  del  Monte,  3 
Cathcart,  Major  Andrew,  159 
Cavendish,  Hon.  Adelaide,  288 
Cavendish,  Miss,  131 
Cavour,  Count,  171,  185 
Chalcis,  ii 
Challoner,  Mrs.,  58 
Chartres,  Due  de,  178 
Chelmsford,  Lord  Chancellor, 

193 
Chester,  Miss,  148 

Cholmondeley,  R.,  139 
Church,  Professor  C.  M.,  9,  10, 

n,  21,  59,  221 
Churchill,  Captain,  84 
Cialdini,  General,  187 
Clancarty,  Lady,  241 
Clanricarde,  Lord,  91 
Clarendon,  Lord,  118 
Clark,  W.  G.,  199,  200 
Clark,  Rev.  — ,  83,  209 
Clermont,  Lord,  31,  51,  52,  55, 

183,  227 
Clive,  George,  6, 33,  50, 232,260 


Clive,  Mrs.,  6,  142,  260 

Clough,  A.  H.,  Lear's  imitation 
of,  141  ff. 

Clowes,  F.,  88 

Clowes,  S.  W.,  123,  124,  127, 
130,  152,  221 

Cobden,  Richard,  146 

Colenso,  Bishop,  251,  276, 
299 

Colquhoun,  Sir  P.  M'C.,  207, 
258,  286,  298 

Consular  reform,  Lear's  views 
on,  159  ff. 

Cooper,  T.,  265 

Corfu,  Lear  invited  to,  9;  letters 
from,  32-51,  61-93,  110-13, 
206-42,  256-80,  297-308  ; 
Lear's  monotonous  life  in, 
65  ff. ;  Gladstone  sent  as  Com- 
missioner to,  121,  125 ; 
description  of  Paleokastrizza, 
234  ;  annexation  by  Greece, 
298  ff. 

Cortazzi  family,  the,  47,  66,  68, 
73,  76 

Cramer,  Lear's  publisher,  120, 
132,  166 

Craven,  Rev.  — ,  240,  262, 
263 

Creswick,  Thomas,  259 

Cromer,  Earl  of,  302 

Cross,  J.,  113,  152,  221 

Cullen,  Archbishop,  154,  218 

Gumming,  Rev.  Dr.,  154 

Curcumell,  Sir  Demetrius  and 
Lady,  258 

Curzon,  Colonel  Leicester,  244 

Cushman,  Charlotte,  128 

Cust,  Colonel,  102 

DAMASCHINO,    Sir     Philotheos 

and  Lady,  258 
Dandolo,  308 
Dead  Sea,  the,  108 
Decie,  Colonel  and  Mrs.,  222 
Denison,  Archdeacon,  30 
Denison,  Lady,  137, 191 
Dennett,  Miss,  82,  83,  87 


322 


Index 


Derby,  thirteenth  Earl  of,  xviii, 
xxviii,  14,  15,  17,  18 

Derby,  fourteenth  Earl  of,  90, 
135,  286 

Disraeli,  Benjamin,  90, 125, 131, 
241 

Drogheda,  Marquis  and  Mar- 
chioness of,  46 

Dunglas,  Lord,  102 

Dunne,  Colonel  F.  P.,  131 

EASTNOR,    Lord,    see    Somers, 

Lord 

Edwards,  S.  Price,  150,  194 
Egg,  Augustus  Leopold,  231 
Egypt,  Lear's  longing  to  see, 

8  ;  his  visits  to,  in  1854,  32> 

in  1858,  95 

Eisenbach,  Miss,  83,  84 
Ellenborough,  Lord,  135 
Empson,  Mrs.,  62,  77,  137 
Empson,  Rev.  W.  H.,  137 
Erskine,  Miss,  71,  84 
Essays  and  Reviews,  189,  209, 

214,  221 
Etna,  4 
Evans,  Dr.,  84 

FAIRBAIRN,  T.,  150,  198,  229, 

239 

Fergusson,  Sir  J.,  102 

Flamburiani,  Sir  Karalambos 
and  Lady,  259 

Forster,  the  medium,  238 

Forster,  W.  E.,  304 

Fort,  Mrs.,  229 

Fortescue,  Chichester  (Lord 
Carlingf  ord),  beginning  of  his 
friendship  with  Lear,  xxii  ff . ; 
his  life  as  a  young  man,  1,2; 
Lear's  advice  to  him  about 
the  Colonial  Secretaryship, 
51  ;  description  of  his  life  at 
Ardee,  53  ;  letters  from,  42, 
89,  247,  296 ;  his  reported 
appointment  to  Irish  Chief 
Secretaryship,  188  ;  his  en- 
gagement to  Lady  Walde- 


grave,    247  ;    his    marriage, 

265,  267 
Fortescue,  Colonel,  of  Dromis- 

kin,  7 

Fowler,  D.,  149 
Fox,  General,  82 
Francis  II.  of  Naples,  186 
Furville,  Captain,  84 

GAGE,  Colonel,  47,  79 
Gallenga,  Antonio,  167 
Garibaldi,  G.,  133,  147, 176,  224 
Garrett,  General  Sir  R,  257,258 
George  I.,  King  of  Greece,  289 
Gibbs,  F.  W.,  127,  134 
Gibson,  John,  sculptor,  124 
Gibson,  Milner,  90 
Gladstone,  W.  E.,  17,  30,  121, 

125,  131,  147,  258,  260,  300 
Goldsmid,    Sir    Francis,    183, 

198,  229 
Goldsmid,  Miss  Julia,  221 ,  224, 

225,  227 

Gould,  G.  A.,  xviii,  xxviii 
Goyon,  General,  169 
Graham,  The  Rt.  Hon.  Sir  J., 

200 

Graham,  Dr.,  in 
Granville,  second  Earl,  128 
Gray,     Dr.,    of     the    British 

Museum,  xviii,  xxviii 
Greece,  Lear's  visit  to  in  1848, 

9ff 
Greek,  Lear's  study  of,  33,  43, 

67,  87,  212 
Grenfell,  Henry,  M.P.,  212, 222, 

248,  250 

Grey,  Sir  George,  195 
Gully,  Dr.,  115 

HAMILTON,  Chichester,  54 
Hamilton,  Lord  Claud,  151 
Hamilton,  Jerrick,  198 
Hamilton,  John,  54,  57 
Hampden,  Bishop,  276 
Hansen,  Lear's  servant,  265 
Harcourt,  C.,  232 
Harcourt,  Egerton,  126 


323 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 


Harcourt,  Lady  Frances,  126 
Harcourt,  George,  35, 126,  191, 

211,  213  ff. 
Harcourt,  William,  and  Mrs., 

272 
Hare,  Mrs.,  mother  of  Augustus 

J.  C.  Hare,  131,  132 
Harford,  J.  B.,  152,  153,  221 
Harrowby,  Earl  of,  201 
Havelock,  Sir  Henry,  58 
Hay,  Robert,  124,  128 
Headfort,  second  Marquis  and 

Marchioness  of,  69,  71,  72, 

77,  79,  80,  84 
Hebron,  100 
Henchel    von     Donnesmarck, 

Count  G.,  226 
Hendon,  Miss,  67 
Herbert,  Colonel  and  Mrs.,  84 
Herbert,  Mrs.  G.,  6 
Herbert,  R.  G.  W.,  152 
Herbert,  Sidney,  49,  147 
Hewitson,  — ,  175 
Hey  wood,  Arthur,  134,  150 
Highgate,  Lear's  old  home  at, 

292 

Holland,  Sir  Henry,  81 
Hornby,  Captain  Geoffrey,  228 
Hornby,  Colonel,  198 
Hornby,  J.,  of  Winwick,    15, 

113,  146 

Hornby,  Mrs.,  136 
Hornby ,  Admiral  Sir  Phipps,  137 
Hornby,  Robert,  20,  221 
Horton,  Miss  W.,  6 
Hunt,     W.       Holman,      xvi, 

xxxix,  34,    48,  49,   50,    85, 

in,  117,  119,  136,  148,  153, 

170,  196,  221,  231,  239 

Husey-Hunt,  B.,  85,  113,  119, 

152,   221 

INDIAN  Mutiny,  the,  86 
Inglis,  General  Sir  John,  223, 

226,  228,  257 
Ipeica,  3 


JAFFA,  95 


Jardine,  Sir  William,  xviii,  xxviii 
Jerusalem,     letters    from,    94, 
no  ;     the    Holy    City    de- 
scribed, 96,  106,  107  ;  Lear's 
picture    of,    99,    132,    133  ; 
factions      in,       103    ;       the 
Bishopric  question,  in 
Jocelyn,  Lord  (Earl  of  Roden), 

151 

Joinville,  Prince  de,  178 
"Journals     of     a     Landscape 

Painter,"   xxix,   19,   22 

KENNEDY,  Dr.,  headmaster  of 

Shrewsbury,  163 
Kestner,  Chevalier,  270 
Kinglake,  A.  W.,  238,  304 
Kirkwall,  Viscount,  283 
Knight,  C.,  124,  128 
Knight,  Isabella,  124,  128 
Knight,  Margaret  (Duchesse  de 

Sermoneta),  124,  128 
"  Knowsley    Menagerie,"    the, 

xviii,  14 
Knowsley,  15 
Kokali,  Basilia,  306 
Kokali,  Christo,  308 
Kokali,   Giorgio,   xxxiv,   xxxv, 

46,  124,   129,  163,   167,  233, 

265,  297,  308 
Kozziris,  Lady  Emily,  35,  83, 

209,  233,  241 
Kozziris,  L.  J.  E.,  68 

LABOUCHERE,  Henry,  see  Taun- 

ton,  Lord 

Lamoriciere,  General,  171,  251 
Lansdowne,   fourth    Marquess 

of,  200,  259,  272 
Lascelles,The  Hon.  Emma, 287 
Leake,  Colonel,  167 
Lear,  Ann,  xvii,  20,  97, 115, 119, 

15°,  153,  154,  170,  208,  232, 

291  ;    her    last    illness    and 

death,  182  ff. 
Lear,  Edward,   quality  of  his 

humour,    xiii  ;    the   editor's 

memories  of  him,  xv ;    his 


324 


Index 


birth  and  education,  xvi ;  his 
"  Family  of  the  Psittacidas," 
xvii  ;  his  work  for  Lord 
Derby,  xviii  ff.,  xxviii ;  his 
drawing-lessons  to  Queen 
Victoria,  xx,  xxi,  xxix  ;  Mr. 
Wilfrid  Ward's  story  of  him, 
xxi,  xxii  ;  beginning  of  his 
friendship  with  Fortescue, 
xxii  ff. ;  Ruskin's  gratitude 
to  him,  xxvi ;  an  autobio- 
graphical letter,  xxvii  ff.  ;  his 
life  after  1864,  xxx  ff.  ;  his 
Villa  Emily,  xxxii,  and  Villa 
Tennyson,  xxxiv ;  his  resting- 
place,  xxxv  ;  an  appreciation 
of  his  art  by  Mr.  Henry 
Strachey,  xxxvi  ff. 

Lear,  Ellinor,  191,  223,  271 

Lear,  Harriett,  140,  144,  145 

Lear,  Mary,  154,  187 

Lear,  Sarah,  153,  154,  170 

Lear,  Sophy,  154 

Lebanon,  108,  109 

Leeds,  the  Dowager  Duchess 
of,  285 

Lever,  C.  J.,  195 

Lever's  novels,  290 

Leycester  (Penrhyn),  Edward, 
116,  183 

Lindsay,  Coutts,  63 

Lindsay,  Miss,  6 

Luard,  — ,  222 

Lucian,  75 

Lushington,  Dr.,  214,  221,  225 

Lushington,  Franklin,  14,  18, 
34,  40,  44,  47,  65,  76,  79,  85, 
92,  in,  113,  125,  148,  170, 

172,  197,  208,  221,  228 

Lydford,  17  ff. 
Lyle,  — ,  175 
Lyons,  Lord,  120 
Lytton,  Sir  E.  Bulwer,  89,  121, 
195 

MACBEAN,  — ,  152 
Macdonald,  Norman,  69 
Macfarlane,  Mrs.,  79 


Macguire,  — ,  147 

Madox- Bromley,   Sir  Richard, 

84 

Malcolm,  Mrs.,  217,  221 
Malta,  a  letter  from,  243  ff . 
Manning,   Cardinal,    132,    170, 

171 
Marcoran,  Sir  George,  251,  258, 

288 
Marguerite,  Princess  of  Parma, 

223 
Maria    Nicolowiena,      Grand 

Duchess,  128 
Marriage,  Lear's  views  on,  29, 

135,  136 
Mar  Saba,  108 
Marshall,  James,  128 
Martineau,  R.  B.,  148 
Masada,  Lear's  painting  of,  70, 

86,  99,  100,  132 
Massala,  3 

Mathews,  Bertie,  124,  128 
Maude,  Colonel,  210,  222 
Merivale,  Under-Secretary,  89, 

91,  112,  172 
Metaxa,   Count  Jean-Baptiste, 

286 

Middleton,  George,  148 
Millais,  Sir  J.  G.,  xl,  34,  136 
Montalembert,  Comte  de,  118, 

120 

Montefiore,  Sir  Moses,  104 
Morier,   Robert,  64,  74,    116, 

152,  194,  195 
Mortara,  Edgar,  165 
Munich,  Lear  at,  203 
Murray,  Lady,  197 
Murray,  Miss,  84 

NAPOLEON  III.,  133,  157,  158, 

196 
Napoleon,       Eugene      Louis, 

Prince  Imperial,  297 
Naylor,  Mrs.,  225,  227 
Nevile,  Rev.  C.,  251 
Nevill,  W.,  114,  152,  221,  226 
Newcastle,  fifth  Duke  of,  172, 

248,  293,  296,  299,  300,  304 


325 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 


Newcastle,  Co.  Down,  55 
Newton,  Sir  Charles,  153,  163, 

166,  168 

Nightingale,  — ,  of  Emley,  138 
Normanby,  Lady,  193 
Northbrook,  first  Earl  of  (T. 

Baring),  xxxiii,  5,  6,  9,  14,  50 

O'BRIEN,  Smith,  278 
O'Donoghue,  the,  182,  218 
Omnium,  J.,  245 
Ormonde,  Lady,  43,  44 

PAKINGTON,  Rt.  Hon.  Sir  J.,  91 

Palgrave,  F.  T.,  his  "  Golden 
Treasury,"  192  ;  goes  to  live 
with  Woolner,  199  ;  his  Art 
Handbook,  245 

Palmer,  William,  of  Magdalen, 
127 

Palmerston,  Viscount,  88  ff., 
130,  139,  161,  166,  192,  241 

Paris  in  1858,  123 

Paris,  Comte  de,  178,  181,  223 

Parnassus,  Lear's  painting  of  ,27 

Parry,  Gambier,  59 

Patragik,  n 

Pattle,  Virginia,  30 

Peel,  Major  John,  209 

Peel,  Sir  Robert,  188 

Penrhyn,  see  Leycester,  Ed- 
ward 

Pentini,  Cardinal,  195 

Percy,  Lady  Susan,  5,  7 

Perkins,  Mrs.  Mary  Ridge,  128 

Perugia,  sack  of,  in  1859,  J^4 

Petra,  100,  101 

Petraja,  Villa,  Lear's  painting 
of,  185,  186,  189,  196,  199, 

2OO,  211,  2l6 

Philae,  Lear's  painting  of,  35 

Phillimore,  Mrs.  R.  J.,  191 

Philpotts,  Bishop,  104 

Pius  IX.,  Pope,  5 

Platosa,  10 

Platides,  Sir  Plato  and  Lady,  258 

Plato,  75 

Plumer,  Mr.  and  Mrs.,  201 


Plutarch,  75 
Pollington,  Lord,  164 
Potter,  Sir  John,  114 
Potter,  the  Misses,  148 
Preraphaelites,  the,  Lear's  re- 
lation to,  xxxix 
Prescott,  W.  G.,  253 
Preta,  Cardinal  Viale,  165 
Proby,  John,  Lord,  2, 3, 119,120 
Proby,  Lady  Isabella,  119 
"  Psittacidae,   Family  of  the," 
xvii,  xxviii 

RAMLEH,  95 

Ravensdale,  51,  52 

Redgrave,  Richard,  259 

Reggio,  revolution  at,  4  ;  Lear's 
painting  of,  26 

Reid,  Sir  James,  47,  65,  66,  73, 
88 

RenanWie  de  Jesus,"  285, 
299 

Rendlesham,  fifth  Baron,  164 

Reynolds,  Major,  167,  229 

Ricasoli,  Count,  188,  191 

Rimbault,  Dr.,  115 

Robinson,  Admiral  Sir  Spen- 
cer, 255 

Roden,  Earl  of,  see  Jocelyn, 
Lord 

Roebuck,  J.  A.,  191 

Rogers,  Sir  F.  L.,  304 

Rome,  unrest  in,  in  1847,  5  ; 
society  in,  in  1848,  6,  in 
1858-9,  123  ff.  ;  social  and 
moral  atmosphere  in  1860, 
162  ff.  ;  disturbance  at  Gari- 
baldi's birthday,  168,  169 

a  Rome  and  its  Environs," 
xxviii 

Ross,  David,  of  Bladensburg, 
163 

Ross,  Mrs.,  of  Bladensburg,  168 

Ross,  Lady  Mary,  7 

Ruskin's  gratitude  to  Lear, 
xx  vi 

Russell,  Lord  John,  89,  91,  147, 
161,  169,  296,  308 


326 


Index 


Russell,  Odo,  127,  131,  169 
Ruxton,  Mrs.,  7,  45,  53  ff.,  61, 
126,  190,  263 

ST.  ALBANS,  tenth   Duke    of, 

267,  278 
St.    Leonards,     letters    from, 

144-156 
San  Remo,  Lear's  studio  and 

villas  at,  xxxi  ff . 
Sandwith,  Humphrey,  50 
Sargent,  Sir  Charles,  207,  222, 

237,  258,  272,  274,  275,  286, 

298 

Sartoris,  Mrs.,  6 
Saunders,  Sir  Sydney  Smith, 

159,  160,  161 
Schimmelpenninck,  Mrs.,  Life 

of,  150 

Scott,  Sir  Francis,  2,  4,  150 
Seaton,  Lord  and  Lady,  57,  58 
Seddon,  Thomas,  48 
Senior,  Nassau,  82 
Sermoneta,  Duchesse  de,  124, 

128 
Seymour,  Alfred,   38,   40,  48, 

198 

Seymour,  Lord,  275,  278 
Seymour,  Admiral  Sir  Michael, 

181 
Shaftesbury,  seventh  Earl  of, 

213 
Shakespear,  Major  and  Mrs., 

47,  78,  79 
Shelley,  Sir  Percy,  Lady,  and 

Florence,  278,  280 
Simeon,  Cornwall,  xxvii  ff.,  20 
Simeon,  Sir  John,  33,  35 
Smith,  Major  Webber,  246 
Somers,  Earl  and  Countess,  30, 

63 
Spencer,  fourth  Earl,  82,  83 

Spooner, — ,  193 

Stanley,  A.  P.,  Dean  of  West- 
minster, 116,  125,  199,  200, 
224,  228,  230 

Stanley,  Lord,  89,  91,  in,  117, 
119,  120,  135 


Stanley    of    Alderley,    second 

Baron,  51 
Stanley,  Mary,  116 
Stanley,  Mrs.,  232 
Stisted,  Mrs.,  291 
Stocker,  Captain,  279 
Storks,   Sir    Henry,    125,  131, 

152,  210,  211,  224,  251,  258, 

266,   267,  273,  274,    277  ff., 

283,  286,  288,   292,   298    ff., 

302  ff.,  307 

Strahan,  Aide-de-Camp,  302 
Strangford,  seventh  Viscount, 

69 
Stratford  de  Redcliffe,  Lord, 

n,  71,  125,  127,  131 
Street,  C.  H.,  222 
Strong,  Archibald,  59 
Stuart  de  Rothesay,  Lady,  211 
Swanston,  Professor,  xviii 
Swinburne,  A.  C.,  198 
Syracuse,  3  ;  Lear's  painting  of, 

27,  59 

TAIT,  Archbishop,  120 

Talbot,  Colonel,  71,  82,  266 

Taunton,  Lord,  50,  62,  83,  91 

Taylor,  Tom,  250 

Tempe,  Lear's  water-colour  of, 
xv 

"  Tempest,  The,"  Greek  trans- 
lation Of,  112 

Tennyson,  Lady,  138,  197,  226 

Tennyson,  Lord,  Poet  Laureate, 
xv,  xxi,  15,  22,  34,  39,  43, 44, 
113  ff.,  137, 138,145, 166,213, 
228,  229,  235;  a  visit  to 
Farringford  described,  138 

Thebes,  10,  n 

Therapia,  the  Embassy  at,  12 

Thermopylae,  Lear's  painting 
of,  9,  10,  26,  27,  254,  255 

Thirlwall,  Bishop,  189,  276 

Tisdall,  Mrs.,  219 

Trieste,  letter  from,  200  ff . 

Troy,  Lear  at,  38,  39,  42 

Tullamore  Park,  56 

Tyrwhitt,  R.  St.  John,  163 


327 


Letters  of  Edward  Lear 


URQUHART,  D.,  138,  140 
Urquhart,  Mrs.,  87,  140 

VALSAMACHI,  Lady,  71,209, 240, 

244,  258 

Venosa,  Lear's  painting  of,  26 
Vere,  Aubrey  de,  third  son  of 

Sir  Aubrey  de  Vere,  128,  209 
Vere,  Mrs.  F.  H.  Aubrey  de, 

257 
Vere,  Major  F.  H.  de,  228,  257 

Vergine,  Monte,  3 
Vernon,  Captain,  220 
Vernon,  Lady  Selina,  221 
Victor  Emmanuel  I.,  169,  185, 

196,  208 

Victoria,Queen, Lear's  drawing- 
lessons  to,  xx,  xxi,  xxix 
"  Views  in  the  Ionian  Islands," 

XXX 

Villafranca,  Treaty  of,  147, 157; 

story  of  the  echo,  167 
Vitalis,  Mrs.,  79 
Volture,  Monte,  3 

WALDEGRAVE,  Frances  Coun- 
tess, 35,  50,  70,  83,  85  ff.,  90, 
114,  126,  136,  164,  165,  184, 
191, 211,  213  ff.,  223,  231,232, 
294,  300,  301  ;  letters  from 
Lear  to,  51  ff.,  97  ff .,  132, 133, 
172,  173,  254,  255,  260  ff., 
275-9  5  Lear's  letter  on  the 
death  of  Mr.Harcourt,  215  ff., 
227 ;  her  engagement  to 
Chichester  Fortescue,  247, 
254,  255  ;  her  marriage  to 
him,  265,  267 

Waldegrave,  The  Hon.  George, 
127 

Waldegrave,  Sarah  Countess 
(widow  of  the  eighth  Earl), 
284 

Wales,  Prince  of  (King  Ed- 
ward VII.),  131,  134,  224, 
228,  280 

Walrond,  116 


Walton  -  on  -  Thames,      Lear's 

letters  from,  174  ff.,  iSoff. 
Ward,  Lord,  8 
Ward,  Wilfrid,  xxi 
Waterford,  Marchioness  of ,  21 1 
Wentworth,  Mrs.,  xvii,  xxviii 
Westbury,     first    Baron,      see 

Bethell,  Sir  Richard 
Wilberforce,    Samuel,   Bishop 

of  Oxford,  213 
"Will,"  Tennyson's,  translated 

by  Lear  into  Greek,  236,  237 
Williams,  Dr.  Rowland,  2 14, 225 
Wilson,  Edward,  287,  293 
Wilton,  second  Earl  of,  xix 
Wilton,  Countess  of,  136 
Wimppfen,  Mme.,  202,  203 
Winwick,  15 
Wiseman,  Cardinal,  164,  251, 

285 

Wodehouse,  Lord,  300 
Wolff,  Sir  Henry  Drummond, 

131,  206,  207,  222,  231,  238, 

251,  258,  266,  272  ff.,  279 
Wolff,  Lady,  272 
Wolff,  Rev.  Joseph,  240 
Wood,  Sir  Richard,  160 
Woodward,  Rev.  — ,  Chaplain 

at  Rome,  129 

Woolner,  Thomas,  199,  245 
Wyatt,  Sir  Digby,  198 
Wyatt,  T.,  202 
Wyndham,  — ,  79 
Wynne,  Colonel  and  Mrs.,  241 
Wythenshawe,  15 

XENOPHON,  77 

Xidian,  251,  257,  285,  286,  288 

YOUNG,  Sir  John,  8,  35,  37,  39, 
48,  65,  76,  125,  131,  211 

Young,  Lady,  65,  69,  70,  77,  82, 
83,  88,  211 

Young,  Major,  269 

ZAMBELLi,Sir  Themistoclesand 
Lady,  258 


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